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Eating Disorder & Addiction Specialists Counselling for addictions, eating disorders & compulsive behaviour
Chelsea & Harley Street, central London

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Understanding Your Addiction

Through your journey towards recovery we will help you understand the underlying psychological issues behind your self-destructive patterns.




We will also help you develop coping mechanisms to enable you to deal with your emotions, cravings and life challenges - without returning to those patterns. You will learn how to care and respect yourself, and others.



Addiction: The Creative Solution

Often addiction starts at a time in life when you are vulnerable and struggling to cope with internal and external tensions (teenage years, stressful moments, emotional situations). So you turn to drugs, alcohol, food, sex or gambling as a solution, to cope or numb your feelings. And it works - at least for a while.

Unfortunately this survival solution creates its own tensions (guilt, shame, cravings, obsession) which themselves need to be addressed - often by repeating and increasing the same solution. The original 'fix' brings its own, new tensions, and coping with them becomes a fixed pattern that you cannot escape.


Understanding Your Addiction. Agonising-Vicious-Circle

Acting Out: Using behaviour (drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling)
Acting In: Feeling shame, guilt, remorse
Extreme Control: Abstaining for periods that become shorter and shorter

And over, again and again...


The Different Stages of Addiction


Understanding Your Addiction. drug-addcition-fw

Fun

At first drugs are fun; they make you feel good, they help you socialise. Maybe for the first time in your life you feel powerful and in control, because they have released you from difficult emotions. You feel special, different, and you have the illusion of being free. Generally we don’t see addicts at this stage in our offices, as they don’t yet realise the devil they are dealing with. Sometimes though we do have parents or employers contacting us with concerns for someone at this stage of addiction.


Understanding Your Addiction. party-fw

Fun & Trouble

At this stage the “survival solution” starts to become less and less effective. You use more and more to make it keep working and there are still fun moments, but you realise that you are relying on an emotional crutch. Other people start to question you about your behaviour, you lie to hide your using, and slowly you start to feel ashamed but still can’t stop. You are in the grip of addiction.


Understanding Your Addiction. trouble-fw

Trouble

At this stage there is no fun to be found in your addiction any more. You are aware that it is damaging relationships, opportunities, health and finances; the tragedy is that you can see your own drama but can't stop acting it out. You feel totally, utterly powerless with regards to your addiction and you are caught in a vicious circle.



Cross-Addiction

The recovery process is rarely a straight line to freedom. It often happens that addicts who stop one kind of substance abuse will cross-addict to another substance, or towards what we call a core addiction process. For example: an addict who stops using cocaine and a few years down the line is struggling with alcohol addiction. Then stopping alcohol but developing a sex addiction, or an eating disorder. It’s just a different cabin on the Titanic! Following the path to recovery is learning to manage our emotions in a healthy way, without emotional crutches.


Substance Abuse: Alcohol, tobacco, drugs
Core Addiction: Addictive processes based around real needs; eating, sex, relationships

Understanding Your Addiction. Cross-Addiction

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