We operate a treatment centre service in Constantia that deals with a very unique methodology in treating addiction, depression, eating disorders and anxiety. The centre focuses not on the disorders so much as on the life events that may have caused the disorder (or trauma). Then we find individualised and practical solutions for clients to come to psychological terms with / getting through these past traumas to establish a more grounded and guided pathway for their personal growth.
“Addiction” is a prevalent feature and much of the way that society deals with addiction is steeped in stigma and destructive processes that actually further victimise and traumatise individuals around moral and social grounds, rather than addressing the actual problem at its root cause.
To bring what we do to a case scenario analogy.
A woman that was routinely sexually abused by a family member in her childhood would have developed psychological defence mechanisms to deal with the trauma of these horrific events.
As an adult, past the immediate threat of the assaults, it would still understandably difficult for her to regulate her emotional state as her subconscious defence mechanisms that prevent her from “forgetting” about her traumatic childhood. Consequentially the lingering memories of her destructive childhood trigger maladapted emotional responses in everyday adult life to seemingly unrelated events.
Subconscious self-soothing is the ability to calm oneself or to reach a point of acceptance of oneself as a human being.
In this shocking scenario, behaviours maladapt and prevent this woman from ever finding true peace with herself. Her emotional state is one of constant high alert and the net result is that she would adapt to deal with her subconscious angst and may begin to use substances or land up in debilitating patterns of depression, anxiety or eating disorders.
While we look at the obvious innumerate social issues in failed relationships and “toxic” partner selection and emotional extremes within healthy relationships, codependency and broken family structures are frequently part and parcel to these cases.
Outwardly the world sees an alcoholic, drug addict, drama queen, anorexic or obese person. The society response defaults are to push them into 12 steps “treatment” programmes that tend to have a published success rate of about 5 to 10%.
Not to devalue the work performed in the anonymous communities, but simply to say that a spiritual growth solution to a problem-based in psychological pain and trauma is not always appropriate.
To ostracise a person that is in this state for being a “druggie” or a “wino” and forcing them to submit a “fearless moral inventories” of all their wrongdoings is a somewhat short sited approach to a far deeper set problem.
Russell Brand is thankful to have been sober for 16 years and recalled how eggshell-fragile his drug addiction left him. The 43-year-old comic has recalled how he reached a low point in his life that saw him sneaking off to use heroin and crack cocaine in friends’ bathrooms. He said in a video uploaded to his social media channels: “I remember being eggshell fragile, this time sixteen years ago. On 12 December, the day before, 2002… Jesus. I’d scored two brown – that’s heroin, two white – that’s crack. It may be a little more, I can’t remember. Just tryna, need to big up my last use, but anyway I remember using it in Camden. I would have been hanging out with my various mates’ houses, none of whom were drug addicts, I was just sort of sneaking off to do drugs in their toilets.”
Well done Mr. Brand, my hat is off to you sir. For some of us, one is too many and a thousand is never enough.