Thought addiction (TA) is not a popular term for the general public or professionals, but the knowledge about its effects are spreading through the addiction field.
Thought addiction is powerful. In fact, thought addiction is a real addiction. What is very real, every addiction habit is driven by thought. Thoughts like "drinking will make me more social," "I perform better on a drug" and "no one will like me if I am not high."
The cause of a thought addiction is when you focus a diluted thought like - "if I drink then I will be more sociable," "I am smarter if I use a substance" or "using will numb out my pain." In truth, using for a short time the diluted thought is correct. The more you fulfill the diluted thought use, the more accurate the idea becomes. When you attempt to stop the addiction, the thought which started the obsessive habit becomes a barrier to true healing or sobriety.
Whether it is substance addiction, eating addiction, emotional addiction, gambling addiction or sex addiction every addiction starts with a thought.
Let's break down this concept into a more straightforward idea. Understand every act in life starts with a thought. If the thought that begins an addictive emotion, behavior or substance cycle is not resolved, then that original diluted thought will stand in the way of real healing or sobriety.
Because when a person becomes sober or attempts to heal from PTSD, the person is left with the original thought that started the addictive behavior in the first place. If the TA is not addressed in recovery then it highly possible that a relapse will occur due to the original diluted thought which started emotion or behavior or substance remains. Resolution of the original diluted thought is the most critical issue to resolve.
In recovery from when the thoughts which were formed during abuse, addiction or trauma are not addressed, the diluted thoughts will actually intensify the symptoms in relapse in both addiction relapse and PTSD symptoms.
Lingering diluted thoughts have no respect for time. Diluted thoughts can strike at any time. Sometimes PTSD symptoms can surface or become more intense because of being triggered by a thought addiction.
How a thought addiction forms
Thought addiction causes suffering when a distorted, illogical, old core beliefs, a negative thought or set of such thoughts surface from your subconscious mind into your conscious mind. Once surfaced the thought or thoughts begin to loop uncontrollably in your mind. These types of thoughts seem to go on repeating endlessly no matter what you do. You feel unable to stop it.
These thought(s) can become so intense that you become intensely focused on looping of negative thinking, self-limiting ideas or negative beliefs. At that point, the beliefs or thoughts seem to take over your mind and feels like it is swallowing all your control and confidence.
To make it more straightforward and more understandable, think about when a song gets stuck in your head and no matter what you try you can not get rid of it in your head. Even if you go to sleep when you wake up these looping thoughts are still there. A thought addiction is the same experience and can cause you to act out to erase or quiet the diluted thought even if it is hurtful to yourself or inappropriate.
Thought Addiction is Misunderstood
Thought addiction is a distorted thought that becomes true and starts you into repeating an emotion, behavior or substance.
A thought addiction can cause devastating effects to you mentally, physically and your health, as well as your well, being. These types of thoughts can overwhelm and overtake your mind causing false emotions and inappropriate behavior.
There are many different types of looping thoughts that can become addictive:
fears (real or imagined)
uncontrollable focus on a behavior
over focusing on an emotion
over predicting an upcoming event
Tips on Thought Addiction Effects
If a looping thought is caught in the beginning stages, the thought set of thoughts can be shifted to become confident and productive. If not, then unshifted the thought(s) could result in new addictions or destroy your attempts at PTSD recovery.
If your thought addiction is not caught until after you have to become sober Then the first thought addiction which got you started into another addiction will surface, and you will inevitably relapse.
Good news. Even if the thought addiction is found after sobriety has begun, the original thought(s) which caused the thought addiction can be shifted and made a productive and positive thought, therefore, averting a relapse, as well as surfacing of inappropriate behaviors, increased negative self-defeating beliefs, increased PTSD symptoms, emergence of strong overwhelming negative emotions or possible destructive acting out behaviors.