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Addictions: Willpower Is Not Enough Essay

1328 words - 5 pages

Since the word addiction was first coined, there are has been much debate on what classifies as an addiction and what causes addiction. Some professionals see addiction as a character flaw, while others see addiction as a biological vulnerability. The biggest question that remains unanswered, however, is "why are we so vulnerable to addiction?" There are many factors that make individuals vulnerable to addiction.The first of these factors is what is considered an "addictive personality." From the time people are born they are taught certain beliefs and often these beliefs are what govern their lives. One of these beliefs may be the need to be perfect or to appear perfect. Some individuals spend their whole lives chasing a characteristic called "perfection." Often these individuals fail to realize that perfection is an "illusion." When this illusion does not true for them, they often begin compulsive behaviors such as shopping, exercise or drugs. Even though these compulsive behaviors only give the individual a temporary euphoria, they compulsively continue the action more and more to achieve this temporary euphoric feeling. Often these compulsive behaviors continue because the individual feels so "imperfect" on the inside. Compulsion becomes a tool of control for them and ultimately a way the individual feels he or she can achieve this unattainable concept called perfection. While the individual may be striving perfection, he or she is often also striving for control in his or her life. There may be several facets in the person's life that he or she feels helpless and feels a lack of control. The individual believes he or she can control these compulsive behaviors. In the beginning the individual may be able to control the compulsive behaviors, but ultimately they begin to loose control in this aspect of their life and find themselves in the perils of addiction.Another factor that is often thought to make an individual vulnerable to addiction is the addictive family. As our children grow we teach them a handful of rules that they are to obey. Usually these rules are unspoken. These rules or beliefs may predispose a person to addiction. Often children may be taught that they are to be "perfect." These children may learn that their parent's approval or acceptance is only earned by the good deeds or behaviors that they do. These children often strive for this perfection and become "people pleasers." They spend their whole lives seeking the approval of others. Often all these individuals really want is to be accepted and loved for who they really are. When they are not accepted for who they are, they turn to drugs or addictive behaviors to feel this need. Children are often also taught to "play it safe" and not move out from the confines of the family. These individuals become afraid to take on challenges or do something other than what is considered predictable. If the individual does something out side these "normal" confines or takes in a...

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