PSYCHOLOGY OF ADDICTION
All addiction is caused by one underlying emotion: intolerable, helplessness. According to Dodes, every addictive act is preceded, with or without conscious awareness, by a feeling of intolerable helplessness. This includes all addictive behaviors, including chronic abuse of alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, gambling, porn, internet use, and so on. Here is how it works: When people are presented with specific circumstances in life that they find personally overwhelming, intolerable, extremely frustrating, helpless, instead of responding with a direct action to deal with how they feel, they respond with a displaced or substitute behavior that helps them escape the trap of feeling helpless, powerless and out of control. Addictions are all substitute (or displaced) actions. Addictive acts, take the place of a more direct response to feelings of helplessness in a particular situation. When people understand the psychology of addiction, the way addiction works, they usually can find some more direct action to deal with their helplessness. When they do, they have become the master of their addiction rather than its slave. The bottom line here is, how does one regain control of their emotions? Do we respond with a direct or indirect displaced behavior? We have free will and reason. We always have a binary choice. We can regain control of helpless feelings with displaced substitute behaviors (quick fixes or mood changers of drugs or other behaviors), or direct healthy behaviors that empower us. What is fascinating here is that both direct healthy behavior and displaced behavior are both designed to empower us in regaining control over our emotions, our helpless, trapped feelings. The point is that when there is no direct action a person feels they can take to deal with overwhelming helplessness, they find a substitute (or a displaced) action. Yes, we are powerless over our tendency to take the easy way out (displaced), but we are not powerless to empower ourselves with a direct high value behavior (something we enjoy or anything besides the displaced behavior) that will help us regain control of our feelings!
When we have a high value personal relationship with Jesus Christ we act with direct behavior that honors God.