Addictive Bonds, A Behavioral Addiction

Addictive bonds, a behavioral addiction

What does it mean to be in an addictive bond? Why do we stay stuck in a relationship that destroys us?

It is clear that there are as many relationships as there are people, and that the word “love” has a different connotation for each of us, depending on our childhood attachment, our education and the experiences we have had since we were children. But in general, the fact sustain a bond that hurts us remaining attached to an unrequited love, continuing to be tied to ex-partners with whom we lived horrible relationships, are what we currently call behavioral addictions.

In them, just as in an addiction to a substance, we cannot stop doing what, despite being aware that it will later bring us suffering, also generates a certain enjoyment for us by repeating these behaviors over and over again.

Characteristics of addictive links

In an addiction, regardless of its kind, What we are stuck to is that first experience of pleasure, even if we never find it again. In the particular case of behavioral addictions associated with a relationship, we seek to relive the enjoyment of the first encounter.

With advances in science, today we know that it is the same areas of the brain that are activated in different types of addictions. Where behavioral addictions differ from other addictions, such as cocaine addiction, is that do not involve problematic substance use, but it has to do with addiction to habits. Habits that are beyond the person’s control, resulting in very harmful habits.

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This means that these habits may not be harmful in themselves, but rather they are harmful to the person, due to the type of relationship that the person establishes with them.

The tendency to obsession

Likewise, another characteristic of behavioral addictions is obsession. This appears as an intrusive thought, which settles in our minds without letting us think about anything else and without being able to be avoided. The relationship and the other become a total and complete focus for the person. The need and fear of losing the other is so, but so intense, that all our energy is focused there.

The tolerance

Likewise, in addictions associated with substances we find the phenomenon of tolerance, that is, more and more of the substance becomes necessary to obtain the desired effect. In behavioral addictions, tolerance implies that one begins to accept things that at first seemed unacceptable ; We increasingly push the limit of what is allowed, even going beyond our own values. This causes us enormous pain.

Discomfort with abstinence

Another characteristic that different types of addictions share is abstinence. In the case of behavioral addictions, abstinence has to do with the absence of that person (whether from a real breakup or just the idea of ​​it). This causes the person to panic, generating a lot of distress. This is evident in those moments when the person becomes aware that this relationship is hurting them, and tries to end it, but the anguish is so great that the person gives up, and constantly returns to this relationship, enduring things that they would never have imagined, even losing his dignity.

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The control

The last characteristic that different addictions share is control. The person tries to control both the relationship and the other person. But… What are you trying to control? What we try to control is that the other does not abandon us. The person constantly feels anguish and anxiety, because he perceives all the time that the relationship is being threatened.

What can we do?

Now… What makes someone go through a behavioral addiction? This, obviously, has nothing to do with the other, but with the person’s own history; It has to do with helplessness, fears, insecure attachments, different ideas of love, insecurities and primary abandonments.

But since it has to do with your own story, can be worked on, modified and resignified. This is worth it because we all deserve good love, the kind that makes us happy most of the time, that of course has conflicts, but that brings out the best part of us.