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Mastering the Monster is Part of Understanding Addiction

Promises for a “cure” are never given, but we do promise to help our clients learn to live fully beyond drug and alcohol use. Addictions are, quite frankly, monstrous. Understanding addiction means looking at it from scientific, social and even spiritual viewpoints.

Psychiatrist Gerald G. May described addiction in this way:

Addiction is not something we can simply take care of by applying the proper remedy. For it is in the very nature of addiction to feed on our attempts to master it.

The monster of addiction takes over lives, our minds and our families. It requires vigilance and the right armor to keep it from insidiously reappearing. Addictions don’t miraculously go away. But preventative steps for relapse can be taken. This is partially what Dr. May refers to, this somewhat perpetual nature of addictions. There is no one cure all, no one magic pill or potion.

Although Dr. May spent much of his professional life working with those with chemical dependencies, his didn’t limit his interest in addictions to just substances, such as drugs and alcohol. He felt that to understand addictions of all types, including sex, work, and obligations, it was important to recognize the intent behind addiction.

Addiction seeks to assert control over a person’s life. Complete control. If you have an addiction, or are in recovery from one, you recognize just how encompassing the control was. The next drink, the next drug. The monster of addiction works to feed only itself.

Dr. May’s view of addiction as an individual’s will and desire being enslaved by compulsion, obsession or preoccupation didn’t (during his professional years) include current research on neurobiological changes in the brain caused by drug and alcohol abuse. As a psychiatrist and a theologian, he wrote in terms of mental health and spirituality. Research now shows that another monstrous effect of addiction is the resulting changes in the brain’s structures.

Above It All is here to help individuals and their loved ones understand addiction and gain mastery over it. Intake counselors are available 24/7 to help guide you towards a new, fulfilling life of recovery.

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