The Origin Of Addictions
Looking For A Love Substitute
It may surprise you, but addiction itself is not usually the real problem - it is a sign that something is seriously wrong. The following comments were made by a specialist on the subject - Dr Geoffrey Satinover, a New York psychiatrist.
"The human race has a tremendous desire to avoid pain, such as the absence or loss of love, low self-esteem, and rejection. Animals will take action to get out of a place where they are experiencing pain. Human beings take up other kinds of activity to get out. We tend to make symbolic substitutions of one thing for another— typically using appetitive drives like food or sex. For example, when we have a HUNGER FOR LOVE we will substitute HUNGER FOR FOOD. In other words, a higher thing — A SPIRITUAL NEED — is replaced by AN APPETITIVE DRIVE, which we attempt to slake." ~ quoted in Briar Whitehead CRAVING FOR LOVE, Monarch Books, 1993, pages 79-80
Love-Hunger & The Addiction Cycle
The desperate need to be loved and the use of a love substitute is what drives addictions. We substitute food for love - for example, after breaking off a relationship we may try to satisfy our hunger for love with food. That's why it is sometimes called "comfort eating," because the food gives us temporary comfort from the pain of our real hunger which is a hunger for love.
Only Jesus Can Satisfy Our Hunger And Thirst For Unconditional Love
The fact is that Jesus is the only person able to quench our insatiable thirst for unconditional love and give us a sense of being valued for our own sake. That's why he stood up in Jerusalem and interrupted the most solemn part of the closing ceremony at the Feast of Tabernacles by shouting:
“Anyone who is thirsty, come to me! Anyone who believes in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’" (When he said “living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) JOHN 7:37-39
More On Desperation For Love
Help With Addictions
Below is a list of Christian organisations in the UK offering help with addictions.