Peeling Back the Layers of Self-Justification

Man sharing problems with psychologist

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

As human beings, we are complex by nature. We are dynamic creatures that embody emotions, cognition, hopes, desires, aspirations and more. The experiences in our lives shape that we are and influence the essence of our being. For the individual who struggles with addiction, the depth in which these illnesses impact a person can be observed.

There are many ramifications of an addiction, as substance abuse impacts a person in various aspects, including their physicality, emotionality, and spirituality.

The “Perfect Storm” of Addiction

Addiction in itself is the result of multiple factors combining to create a “perfect storm”. Addiction usually involves a genetic predisposition and other biological factors; as well as environmental issues with can trigger the progression and development of substance abuse.

For some individuals, an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is derived as a protective coping mechanism, particularly in the presence of external triggers that are overwhelming to handle and process.

The Complexity of Addiction

Because of the many facets that are involved with addiction, there is more to recovery than just merely deciding that one is “ready”. In fact, many individuals who struggle with addiction often are unaware of the complexity of their struggle and often find reason to justify their patterns and/or behaviors.

The reality is that it often takes certain experiences to break down walls and peel back the layers of self-justification that are often present in an addict who is stuck in their addiction.

 Look Out For These Red Flags

Conflict of aged woman and young guyIf you have a loved one who is struggling with an addiction, perhaps you are discouraged by the denial you see manifested in the person you care for. There may be several red flags and warning signs that your loved one easily dismisses, justifies, or minimizes.

This is all part of the addiction, and peeling away these layers one by one can help your loved one reach a point in which recovery is desirable and wanted.

Having the assistance of professional guidance is also a crucial part of finding recovery. If you are struggling with a loved one who has an addiction, do not feel burdened to take this responsibility all on your own. Having a team of professionals behind you can help effectively guide your loved one towards the treatment needed for recovery.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are the most difficult challenges in asking for and receiving treatment for addiction?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 26th, 2015
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