The Compulsions that Accompany Addiction

Sometimes our addictions aren’t the only thing causing us pain and turmoil in our lives. We’re also suffering from compulsions that accompany our addiction and mental health issues. Compulsions are behaviors we feel we can’t control. These behaviors and habits might be toxic, unhealthy or even dangerous, yet we feel as though we can’t stop. Some of us may be diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, while many others of us will suffer in silence. We feel constantly ashamed of and embarrassed about our compulsions. We fear being judged and rejected, so we don’t reach out for help or tell anyone what we’re going through.

Our compulsions can present themselves in countless different ways. We might have a compulsion to drive even though we’ve been drinking, and we find it hard to control this very dangerous and reckless behavior. We might rack up multiple DUI arrests but still compulsively drive drunk. We might have sexual compulsions that feel like perversions that we feel ashamed of but can’t stop, such as watching excessive porn or going to strip clubs compulsively. We might have other compulsions that appear harmless but that take up a disproportionate amount of our time and energy, leaving us feeling drained of our energy and depleted of our hope.

We can have a hard time knowing whether our addictions created our compulsions, or whether we developed our addictions from trying to escape the stress of our compulsive behaviors. We might never know which came first, and ultimately, they usually feed off of and compound one another, so what matters most is healing the issues contributing to both. Very often we’re dealing with extreme levels of anxiety that are fueling both our compulsive and addictive behaviors. It’s up to us to determine where this anxiety is coming from. What unresolved fears have you yet to process? What traumatic experiences are you holding onto and not letting yourself move past? What hurt within you have you yet to reconcile? Are you depriving yourself of forgiveness and allowing the weight of your shame to cause you all this relentless anxiety? Our compulsions, just like our addictions, are often an emotional response to anxiety, a manifestation of our anxiety, the way we react to things that trigger us. What is causing us this anxiety? What are we being triggered by? When we start to look within, underneath the compulsions and past the behaviors to the underlying fears beneath, we start to receive guidance on how to heal.

Riverside Recovery’s treatment programs are comprehensive and include multiple kinds of therapy, daily recovery meetings and mindfulness education, all of which can help you process the behaviors that are causing you pain. Call (800) 871-5440 today.