Philip St. Romain
A D D I C T I 0
Definition: attachment to any
attitude, behavior, substance or process in such a manner as to
create harm for oneself and/or others. This attachment becomes
--the use of attitudes, behaviors, and substances to avoid facing
inner emotional turmoil; these avoidances are "fixes."
Function of Addictions:
- A. Gives a temporary sense of pleasure
- B. Keeps one out of touch with inner
- C. Provides "energy source" for
maintaining oneself in a role.
- D. Provides a means to gain control over
one's emotional experiences.
- E. Helps to maintain one in a "fixed
Examples of Addictions:
A. Attitudinal: "I'll be OK (happy, secure,
serene) when . . .
- 1. I can control the
people/circumstances of my life.
- 2. I must do things perfectly; I must
not make mistakes.
- 3. I know enough.
- 4. I'm self-sufficient/don't need
- 5. Other people must like/approve of
- 6. I must be special to
- 7. I must come out on top.
- 1. Co-dependent relationships
(caretaking, messiah, "lover").
- 2. Gambling/betting.
- 3. Sex (pornography, masturbation,
- 4. Shopping/spending.
- 5. Working/accumulating
- 6. Watching television "to pass the
- 7. Religious activities that manipulate
- 8. Reading books and magazines
(Internet) for fantasy, escape.
- 1. Alcohol/mood-altering drugs
- 2. Junk foods--e.g. foods high in
- 3. Minor drugs--coffee, nicotine,
Stages of Addiction
A. Experimentation--learning how the "fix"
B. Early stage--using fix to get
- 1. Few consequences from use of
- 2. Ability to control use of fix in most
- 3. Tolerance to fix increasing: can use
C. Middle stage--using to get relief from
- 1. Use of the fix becoming a
problem/source of pain.
- 2. Losing control over fix; adding new
- 3. Discomfort when not using or moving
toward a period of usage.
- 4. Emotional numbness, depression,
mental preoccupation, defensive.
D. Late stage--using to obliviate
- 1. Severe psychological/physical
- 2. Many blackouts.. periods of
dissociation from self/reality.
- 3. Suicide, insanity, accidental death,
physical sickness, prison.