Process Addictions: From my vantage point!

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Do you think like the rest of society? 

I think like the rest of society, I am biased to process addictions. What I mean by that is we, as society are constantly putting “aholic” at the end of something. For instance, we say “shopaholic”, “sexaholic”, etc. This is usually done when one does something in “excess of”. However, I think by doing this we undermine an addiction, whether it is process addiction or substance addiction. I think as a society we are biased to all things negative and try to do our best to make things look better! Therefore, I would have to say for a long time I perceived those that did things in “excess of”…just a little…as a [blank]-aholic! Not fair right! But this is my vantage point! 

Vantage Point is shaped: by how you accept/reject behaviors! 

I guess for me, by nature, I more readily accept sexual behaviors or eating behaviors done in “excess of” as problematic because they are ones that are harmful to oneself or to another individual. However, I readily reject gambling, for instance. The reason for this is because I grew up in a household where going to the casino during the weekend was the greatest thing to do. Or even playing the lottery and scratch off were the best thing to do. AND IT CAUSED NO HARM! (or so I thought) I remember hearing screaming one day saying “We hit the lottery, we are going shopping”! That excited me. I was young at the time and what I did not recognize is that there must have been 3-4 times the money spent in order to gain what was won! (I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t more)! I also came to realize that although I could not see it, bills were not being paid because of this habit! 

But was it an addiction, a habit, uncomfortable, undesirable, or just unhealthy?

Although, I am not an expert in process addictions, I would not say that I am not quick to call it an addiction if I am uncomfortable with it or if I find it undesirable or unhealthy. I do think that I would have about 5-10 years ago. However, today, as an adult and aspiring counselor, I do understand how something is classified as an addiction. I also understand that just because I am uncomfortable with something or it is undesirable to me, does not make it an addiction. For example, one day while watching “Taboo” on National Geo channel, this lady allowed her pigs to nurse from her own breast! I found this very disturbing but would not put it in the category as an addiction. I viewed it as more cultural. 

Morals, culture, values, beliefs: How do they shape the vantage point!

With this example, I think this is great proof of how my beliefs, morality, or spiritual beliefs can shape my views of my client’s problem. I understand that my beliefs, morals, and values may not align with those same beliefs of my client. However, it is my responsibility to be open to different ways of thinking. I think it is easy for an individual to dismiss something or diagnosis something that they don’t understand. However, it takes a competent individual to understand a vantage point different than their own and still be an asset to clients. 

Signing off!

Ayzha 

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