Shame Feeds Addiction
This presentation begins with the model of addiction as a product of biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and experiential influences. It examines the chemical differences in the addicted versus the normal brain while discussing the co-mingling of addiction with the bio-chemical effects of other psychological disorders such as depression, PTSD, and shame. Shame produces an increased stress response in the brain, allowing the amygdala to take over alongside psychological changes that lead to an amplification of narcissistic and grandiose needs. Social context is critical in shaping addiction and our culture is riddled with shame-inducing, materialistic signals that make spirituality an indispensable ingredient in recovery. Choice, risk, relationship and wonder are emphasized as core elements in treatment strategies. This information is targeted toward treatment practitioners, but is helpful to anyone who is involved with recovery, including addicts and their families, employers, friends, and co-workers.
At Bluefield, we help our students deal with their addiction from biological, psychological, social, spiritual and experiential fronts. Clinical time with our licensed professionals and local doctors allow our students to confront any biological or psychological issues with which they may be dealing. Daily participation in 12 step meetings and submersion in our University Recovery Community help to address the social, spiritual and experiential influences of their disease. In addition, we give our students all the support they need to regain confidence on campus by providing time with academic coaches.