Some find it helpful to look on addiction as a cycle, and by viewing it this way, they can see how to break that cycle:
1. Someone may experience distress or discomfort
2. In response, that person might seek relief through alcohol, drugs, excessive eating, gambling, or whatever behaviour that may become addictive.
3. The relief is only temporary, and so, when the relief subsides, the distress or discomfort returns, perhaps this time with guilt or shame over the addictive behaviour.
4. In response to the return of the distress or discomfort, and perhaps the guilt or shame, that person engages in more of the addictive behaviour.
Awareness of this cycle of addiction is the first step to learn how to break it.
Chris Warren-Dickins BACP Registered Counsellor
Counseling and coaching blog