Sometimes our addictions don’t just involve substances, relationships and behaviors, they also involve our thought patterns. We develop toxic thought addictions where we’ve become so attached to certain thoughts that we can’t seem to let them go. As a result, we can develop obsessions and compulsions, intense anxiety and panic attacks, and depression. Our relentless thought addictions can impact our ability to sleep, eat and function normally. We may find ourselves unable to keep up with our regular lives, our obligations and responsibilities. We might be so consumed with these thought addictions that we can’t care for ourselves or our families normally. Our thought addictions can fuel our other addictions because we can find ourselves desperate to escape the mental and emotional pain we’re causing ourselves. What are some of the common thought addictions many addicts contend with?
One toxic, obsessive thought addiction many of us struggle with revolves around our insecurities and our fears of inadequacy and inferiority. We feel so unworthy and so down on ourselves that we start to obsess about our flaws, imperfections and mistakes. We might obsess about the people we envy, people we think are happier or more successful than we are. We might obsess that our partner will stop loving us because we’re not good enough. These thoughts are recurring and we think them so often that they become persistent, chronic obsessions we can’t seem to shake. We can feel haunted by our thoughts, tormented and tortured by them. We can feel as though we can’t escape the sadness, shame and anxiety they cause us.
Our thought addictions can make us think and behave in ways that are irrational and illogical. We can find it hard to trust our feelings because we’re not thinking clearly or objectively. We might become increasingly more volatile with the people in our lives, because we’re so consumed with negativity and toxicity. For many of us, our thought addictions have a lot to do with the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and the subconscious programming we’ve been perpetuating. In addition, we might have physical imbalances. For example, fear and anxiety can be correlated to imbalances in our kidneys, and obsessing can be related to imbalances in our spleen.
Examining our thought addictions can help us to heal our minds and hearts so that we can actually be open to recovery. Until we do this, we might continue to be susceptible to the self-destruction and self-hatred that fuel our addictions and mental illnesses.
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.