Behavioral Addiction and PTSD and What Keeps You Hooked

Behavioral Addiction and PTSD and What Keeps You Hooked

Behavioral Addiction and PTSD:

The longer traumatic residue stays in the body and mind, the more complex and deeply rooted become the coping mechanisms originally adopted for dealing with being emotionally overwrought.

They become crucial in coping with life and are often tied up with pride and shame.

The Need for Behavioral Addictions While Suffering From PTSD

In terms of normal daily stresses, coping mechanisms can be very beneficial, like sports, socializing, cinema, a glass of wine, or nature.

In the wake of Post-Traumatic Stress they certainly have a use, in diffusing some of the high energy charge, but at the same time, they are frequently destructive to the individual.

The more common coping mechanisms are alcohol, drugs/medication, smoking, (binge) eating, and sex/porn; others include  shopping, gambling, TV watching, excessive sleeping or sports, being a workaholic, finding meaning in religion or spirituality, hand-washing or other excessive behavior patterns, compulsive occupation or organizing, and the list goes on.

How Behavioral Addictions Can Become Problematic

When no attempt or start has been made to resolve the underlying Post-Traumatic Stress, these coping mechanisms become more rigid and will turn into focal points themselves. Even to the point that they are not associated anymore to the original stress, as in:

• “I have to stop smoking”
• “I shouldn’t drink”
• “I don’t want to use drugs”
• “This time I will eat just a little”
• “I really need to get away from my computer, tablet, TV”

In the thick of traumatic stress activation, however, there is just no way to avoid it. This dual mindset of “involuntary” indulging very likely creates additional stress, which reinforces an unhealthy cyclic release and build-up of the high energy charge in the nervous system.

» Dive deeper into this topic by reading The Trauma Essential Series →

How is behavioral addiction and PTSD for you? Leave your comment below.

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