Your emotional health and stability plays a big role in your belief system and personality, and vice versa. The presence of certain underlying issues can impact the way you look at yourself, others and the world around you—which makes up your belief system.
Emotional instability may increase your risk of facing alcoholism and abuse. Because of this, focusing on your emotional well-being and managing certain thoughts and feelings can be looked at as a sort of preventative addiction treatment.
Depression, Numbness and Tension
While very different from one another, these three emotional conflicts are often responsible for the onset of addictive behavior. Identifying these traits in your life and taking action to reduce or correct their presence can help you prevent or overcome addiction.
Chronic depressed moods put a person at an increased risk for addiction. Internalized reservoirs of guilt, shame and anger contribute to this overriding sense of depression. Often, a person who struggles with addiction may develop depression due to irrational thoughts concerning their sense of control or the expectations they have set for themselves.
Those who are depressed are especially at risk for action-oriented addictions, which are addictions that revolve around activity and excitement that can serve as a distraction from their underlying addiction.
Most addicts have suffered plenty of losses in the past, not the least of which is abandonment—emotional or physical. Intense feelings like this can encourage a person to “stuff” their feelings and develop a feeling of numbness.
Emotional numbness is categorized by a lack of expression and intensity of feelings. When someone becomes emotionally numb they become guarded and are unlikely to effectively cope with their emotions. The buildup of unexpressed emotions can drive a person towards addictive behavior as a way of coping with their feelings.
Addictions are tailor-made for those who are emotionally numb. They help keep feelings at bay while simultaneously providing enough activity, sensations, crisis and excitement to counter the feeling of deadness inside and keep us at least feeling alive.
Someone who is driven by restlessness or extreme inner tension may be at a heightened risk for addiction. Often, inner tension will drive someone to develop an addiction to an activity driven mood-changing behavior, like gambling, shopping or stimulant drugs. The addictive behavior becomes a ritual that provides an escape from emotional turmoil.
These are just three areas of emotional instability. Others include severe anxiety and guilt. In some situations these emotional aspects become ingrained in the personality of the individual, and are often considered components of the addictive personality as a result.