Addicts and alcoholics often come to a point in their addiction where every action they take seems to be completely self-destructive. Behaviors of an alcoholic dig them deeper into the hole of addiction, and may put themselves or others in dangerous situations. To loved ones, the behavior may cause pain and confusion. Loved ones often seek help through 12 step programs such as Al-anon
and Alateen It does not make sense for a person who is depressed and struggling with addiction to continue engaging in such actions. This is the essence of addiction. When it takes hold, negative thoughts run rampant through the brain. These thoughts are what drive the addict or alcoholic to continue using.
Understanding the Negative Thinking
Those who have not gone through the negative thinking cycle of addiction
may find it difficult to understand the thought process in the addict's mind. Once it is understood and accepted, individuals may find it far easier to cope with a loved one's addiction. As an addict continues to use a substance, the brain begins to think the body cannot function without it. Attempts to quit may fail because the brain tells the individual that it needs to get high rather than be healthy. To the struggling addict, getting high becomes more important that work, school, family or hygiene. The seemingly negative thinking is actually the brains response to chronic substance abuse
. The self-destructive nature of addicts and alcoholics is a survival mechanism of the human brain. When drugs are used consistently for a long period of time, the person begins to lose the motivation to participate in healthy activities. The negative thinking that arises from the person's inability to stay sober only gets worse as they try to quit drugs repeatedly. This leads to other behaviors that may be seen as self-sabotaging. Behavior such as violence, lack of self-care, and even suicide are good examples of how self-destructive behavior can manifest.
Breaking the Pattern of Self-Destruction
For those struggling with addiction, the pattern of self-destruction may seem impossible to break. As the addict tries to quit using, the brain convinces him or her that getting high is the most important thing. The greatest success in stopping this cycle has been found in getting help. The self-destructive behavior of addiction is one of the most challenging aspects. There are many forms of aid available to those struggling: Addiction treatment centers
, 12 step program
, individual therapy, group therapy, books, and seminars. Whichever route you choose for yourself, it is healthier than living a self-destructive lifestyle.