In many ways, character is like a psychological immune system. Stressful things happen to all of us, but when you have a rightly developed will, you can more readily summon the internal resources to weather the storms of life. Still, the strength and solidity of our will must always be tested.
Not all undisciplined behavior represents a genuine addiction. And while there are some rare exceptions, most true addictions don’t just develop overnight. There’s a typical pathway to getting “hooked.” And that pathway is littered with many clear warning signs. Healthy characters respect and heed those signs. But underdeveloped characters tend to ignore or disregard them. That’s why character, and mastering character’s “sixth command,” is so important.
The “fifth commandment” of sound character is about mastering our appetites and aversions. But we can’t possibly become the master of our appetites unless we first learn to delay gratification. And we can’t be masters of our aversions unless we’ve cultivated the will to bear discomfort.
Our gluttony isn’t just about food. From sex to money, we want more of just about everything. And nothing really satisfies. Moreover, anything we can get too easily and do too often can become an “addiction.”
Survivors of toxic relationships know how difficult it can be to restore one’s emotional sanity, pick up the pieces, and move on. They need answers that empower and help protect them against future harm.
It’s an unfortunate reality that when character disturbances either fail to be recognized or are improperly labeled as something else, the problems associated with those disturbances can be “enabled” to continue or even worsen.
If you believe many of the things you read and hear about these days, just about everyone suffers from some kind of addiction. And despite how commonplace it’s become, I’m always a bit shocked (and outraged) when some disturbed character claims victim status by blaming his or her reprehensible conduct on an addiction of some … Continue reading Addiction, Codependence, PTSD, Anxiety and Self-Esteem
A person’s use pattern and prospects for “recovery” are always heavily influenced by their personality dynamics, which is why it’s so essential for character issues to be taken into account in treatment.
The interrelationship between substance use and character is often complex and poses many challenges for providing the right kind of help.
Folks who already have significant character issues carry their deficient regard for the greater good and their feelings of grandiosity and entitlement into their forays with substance use. And it’s perfectly predictable that they soon develop patterns of use that are high risk and that their substance use both exacerbates their existing problematic behaviors and creates disturbing new ones.