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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Originally Posted @

The disease of addiction is a cunning and powerful force. It can hide in the shadows of other issues and problems, avoiding being singled out. It places the blame on situations or other people and refuses to be held accountable for its destruction. Often times someone struggling with addiction won’t realize what everyone around them sees; that addiction is ruining their life. Breaking free from the bondage of addiction requires a person to see through the disillusion of denial. If someone remains in denial, it is likely they will not grasp the reality of the situation until it is too late. Read about why denial is so common in the addicted person, and more importantly about how recovery starts when denial is overcome.

Roots of Denial

Since addiction is a relatively slow-progressing disease, problems and consequences of drinking or drugging may not appear until decades after it began. Most addicted people experienced some positive experiences using and drinking. Addiction can creep in slowly, like an assassin in the night, taking hold of a person’s life little by little. Often the person is not even aware of the dramatic changes taking place in their minds and bodies. Their families, friends, and co-workers sometimes notice the changes in their behavior and appearance.  So if other people noticed the presence of a problem, why can’t the addicted person?

In the mind of an alcoholic or addict, they correlate positive emotions, feelings, and memories with their drinking/using. To them, alcohol/drugs are a ‘cure-all’ for the stresses or daily stresses of life. It’s a means to relax, to celebrate, to numb out, to escape, to be social, to manage pain, etc. All the negative aspects of their addiction, they minimize or attribute to ‘bad luck’ or someone else. Subconsciously, their addicted mind defends their actions by denying the reality of the situation. Slowly the morals, goals, and aspirations of the person are lowered until the addicted life feels like the only normal one. When someone tells them that they have a problem, they can get angry, aggressive, prone to avoidance, withdrawn, etc.



Posted by on in Drug Addiction

"Cognitive Dissonance" is defined as a great feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the presence of thoughts & behaviors that are conflicting in nature.  The theory suggests that if individuals act in ways that contradict their beliefs, then they typically will change their beliefs & thoughts to align with their actions.  In a nutshell, humans have a difficult time admitting to others but even more to themselves that they were wrong about something.  If you've ever told a lie and felt uncomfortable because you see yourself as scrupulously honest, then you've experienced cognitive dissonance.


It occurs whenever your view of yourself clashes with your performance in any area—you see yourself as smart but can't believe you made such poor decisions.  Cognitive dissonance often occurs because people fear appearing foolish or ignorant.  They are fully aware they have acted in a way that is either inappropriate or uncharacteristic with their belief system or morals, and so they use different strategies to protect their image to others, but even more so to protect their own self-image.  It is hypocrisy between what we believe in and what we engage in. 


When this internal conflict is present, people feel increasingly guilty or uneasy about holding these opposing cognitions – they don’t want to think of themselves as illogical or inconsistent. These internal conflicts are hard to live with, and if not dealt with the individual will feel bad about themselves and this can snowball into further and continuous illogical behaviors/actions and then cause very severe and damaging feelings towards one's self. 


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