Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Expansion on a Though

Before going to bed last night, I felt compelled to leave the waking work with a tweet

Okay, one last thought/question. Does #addiction challenge a negative or chase a positive?

At this juncture I just want to clarify what I mean (and use more than 140 characters to do so.) A crux of addiction, and it’s treatment as a psychical issue, is the question of whether the addiction fills a void for the addict or whether it offers a state of advanced pleasure (or orgasm) that can be achieved only through abuse of a certain substance or activity.

On the outside there are similarities in both positions – the addict seeks to use their addiction to obtain something – something to fill the void or something to give them pleasure. However, their differences are far more worrying.

For the addict who abuses to fill a void there is only despair or ‘normality’ (an imperfect term but something most aim toward.) That which is abused offers only to stabilise that which is already broken. As such, treatment of such an addict must surely centre on what is causing the void in the first place.

Conversely, if the addiction is the method by which the addict achieves excitation/nirvana/orgasm then it must be treated in a manner that recognises this. In such cases might we not instead try to understand why the specific addiction was chosen (perhaps not consciously) and focus treatment around this?

I hope that in some way helps decipher the ideas running through my head when I posted that tweet.

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