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Do you think there is a connection with low self esteem and addiction?

Old 12-13-2013, 06:48 PM
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Do you think there is a connection with low self esteem and addiction?

Someone asked me today if my addicted son had low self esteem before he got into drugs. They seemed to be making the case that there was a connection. I never really thought about that and was wondering what others think.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:53 PM
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In my opinion, all one needs to become addicted is to have a desire to escape something in their lives. It could be low self-esteem, depression, stress, anger, fear, etc. Addiction is complex and there is no one explanation for everyone.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by allthatsgood View Post
Someone asked me today if my addicted son had low self esteem before he got into drugs. They seemed to be making the case that there was a connection. I never really thought about that and was wondering what others think.
In my opinion, low self esteem and addiction are 100% related. At least with my son anyway.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:33 PM
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Yes!!!! One of many other reasons but I also agree they use to escape.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:18 PM
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At an open NA meeting a long time ago the speaker was talking about self-esteem and said "we're ego-maniacs with an inferiority complex".
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by allthatsgood View Post
Someone asked me today if my addicted son had low self esteem before he got into drugs. They seemed to be making the case that there was a connection. I never really thought about that and was wondering what others think.
According to Dr Gabor Mate
(Doctors Advice from the Stickys at the top of the forum)

He shares these views:

“Both addiction and ADD are rooted in childhood loss and trauma.”
In his book, “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” he focuses mostly on the pain behind the addiction. He believes your “Fighting not the substance but the circumstances that lead someone to seek out that self-soothing.”

“Addiction is nothing more than an attempt to self-medicate emotional pain”.

The Hungry Ghosts represented in his book are “starving for external satisfaction, seeking to fill but never being full, desperate to be soothed”. This is why his emphasis is more on Kind Love IMO.

So I would say Yes, it would be common for someone to suffer low self esteem prior to beginning drug use, and then IMO the drugs alter their personality so what you see on the outside is not necessarily what is true on the inside. Quite often why a person needs psychiatric help to unravel what's at the root of addiction in order to find long term recovery.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:00 AM
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Thank you everyone for responding.

Allforcnm - "Quite often why a person needs psychiatric help to unravel what's at the root of addiction in order to find long term recovery".

If my son ever finds recovery again I hope he will seek out psychiatric help.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by allthatsgood View Post
Someone asked me today if my addicted son had low self esteem before he got into drugs. They seemed to be making the case that there was a connection. I never really thought about that and was wondering what others think.
I think there are a lot of contributing factors to trying drugs, lot of contributing factors to continued drug use, and a whole different set of complex factors regarding addiction.

As an addict, I think one's esteem is a easy target. But a lot of people with low self esteem don't ever have a problem with substance abuse.

If you look for a correlations, you will find them. Not sure what that answers for anyone.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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For some maybe, but as previous poster said, there's basically one reason or another you can use for addiction. Mine was as simple as I liked being drunk, had a perfect upbringing, no issues whatsoever. Just liked being drunk and since alcohol is addictive, after awhile I got hooked. I try not to over analyze this, it's just a matter of getting hooked.
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:21 AM
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If you look for a correlations, you will find them. Not sure what that answers for anyone.

Doggonecarl- you are right about that. I'm just trying to learn as much about addiction as I can. I know I will never have the answers as to why my son got involved in drugs, only my son knows why. Thank you for responding though.
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Old 12-14-2013, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by allthatsgood View Post
Someone asked me today if my addicted son had low self esteem before he got into drugs. They seemed to be making the case that there was a connection. I never really thought about that and was wondering what others think.
No clue. But I'd be comfortable saying that the pleasure center in the brain of the addict is wired differently than that of a non-addict.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:30 AM
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For me personally low self esteem was not a reason for me to use, for me it’s about self medicating the pain and enjoying the high.
I know it’s almost taboo to say, but I really, really, really, really enjoyed getting and being high, and I think almost anyone who uses on a regular basis enjoys being high. There are just so many drugs to choose from to pick your high/feeling from its crazy, uppers, downers, pain killers, mood enhancers, psychedelics, ect. It’s so easy to change what and how you feel in the blink of an eye; in a society like ours of instant gratification I think low self esteem is not all that high on the list of reasons why people use but rather getting what you want when you want it no matter the consequences.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:29 AM
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For me, the answer is yes. I also believe this to be true with my AH. It is also one of the roots to my codependency as well.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:45 AM
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We all have some issue or another. Not all of us became addicted when we experimented with some substance or another, even though we were experimenting with addictive substances.

My son became addicted because he 1) has a body chemistry that is prone to developing the addiction cycle and 2) he started using very addictive substances. Everything else is moot.

My cousin's son developed juvenile diabetes in his teens. He got that because 1) he has a body chemistry that is prone to developing diabetes and 2) he ate foods with sugar. Everything else is moot.

I agree with the tnman1967.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:31 AM
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I know a sociopath who was diagnosed way before addiction. That has nothing to do with low esteem. Zero.

Also, that doctor who believes ADD is rooted in childhood trauma and loss? Jesus Christ Almighty. That belief of his is not rooted in medical or scientific facts.
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