Now this concept, might surprise many people in the world of addiction recovery.
Today we hear addictions are “caused by our genetics.” This is a philosophy I’ve challenged for over 25 years.
I’m not saying that genetics has no role in the world of, let’s say, alcoholism, but it’s not the cause of alcoholism.
If it was the cause of alcoholism, if our genetic code was actually the cause of alcoholism, the only cure would have to be something from the world of medicine, surgery, prescription medication or something like that.
But as far as we know today, there’s nothing in the medical world that can completely heal any addiction.
So, we come back to the premise: Underneath every addiction is a mental health issue.
And what does that mean? What does it mean that behind every addiction is a mental health issue?
Well, everyone in the world of addiction recovery already knows the term, “dual diagnosis“, which simply means that, let’s say, with the addiction alcoholism , there is both a mental issue or disorder as well as a substance disorder.
When I was diagnosed with my alcoholism I was also diagnosed with untreated low-grade depression as well as generalized anxiety disorder.
A double whammy when it comes to healing the addiction for sure.
So, let’s take a look at some of the mental health issues that are completely related in the world of addiction:
Number One. Low self-confidence.
Almost every addict that I’ve ever worked with as a counselor and master life coach in the past 43 years, struggles with low self-confidence. This comes out in the form of peer pressure.
When an addict, whether it’s alcohol, spending, eating whatever it might be, faces the peer pressure of friends or people that they put on pedestals who are also engaged in this addiction, it’s a sign of low self-confidence when we allow peer pressure to come in to play encouraging us to drink or to do some other type of an addiction.
At 12 years of age, this is how my first primary addiction began. I wanted to fit in with a group of older guys on the beach, I was 12 they may have been about 15 or 16, and the only way they would let me hang out with them is if I drank a warm a 16-ounce Budweiser beer. Which I did. The peer pressure got to me, I wanted acceptance, so here begins my world of addiction.
And it worked! By drinking that warm Budweiser, I was instantly accepted into their group and would try to sneak away from time to time and join them and drink while I was an extremely young man.
Number Two. A lack of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is simply, self-love. So, when we are in an addiction of any type, spending, food, pot it really doesn’t matter, it’s a sign that we’re not loving ourselves at the deepest level possible. Another mental health issue.
Number Three. Codependency.
I believe, codependency is the largest addiction in the world, and it’s a mental health addiction for sure!
When people are codependent, they don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t want to upset people by being honest, so we are codependent in the way we live, we are codependent with the type of people that we hang around with if they are not healthy in nature as well.
Codependency has 2000 spokes, it’s a very complicated addiction, but it’s mainly a mental health addiction manifested in our relationships.
Number Four. Depression.
Low-grade depression, many times encourages us to look out for ways to self-medicate, so that we don’t feel the depths of the depression or the apathy or the hopelessness that’s going on.
So many of us, including myself, found great relief short-term from our depression, via alcohol, cocaine, pot, food and more.
So instead of getting to the core of what is creating my depressed feelings, we mask them with food or other substances or behaviors like spending, which make us feel good in the moment but once that feeling fades away the depression actually becomes deeper in our system.
Number Five. Anxiety.
Low-grade anxiety can drive people to the easiest addictions such as pot, or nicotine, which both have very powerful antianxiety properties. When we’re not aware that we have anxiety or we’re not learning how to deal with it in healthy ways, we will look for substances or behaviors that will numb or minimize the anxiety at least short term.
Number Six. PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental illness caused by trauma, that is often one of the major reasons that someone might reach out and become addicted to a substance, or behavior, or relationship that is unhealthy for them.
But as we write about in our new top-selling book, “Helping Americans Heal! The ultimate guide to healing during these challenging times “, I share a story of a client struggling with PTSD that came from her getting hit from every angle possible during the pandemic with extremely stressful experiences.
Now most people think of PTSD as only related to the military, but during the pandemic we see a totally different reality in the world of counseling and coaching.
In one year she had lost her husband to divorce, lost her job, lost two dogs as well as her home… And was starting to lean on a variety of different substances, to try to help numb the extreme PTSD experience she was going through.
The mental anguish of everything she had experienced had turned into a full-blown condition, which then led to her reaching out to try to find ways to numb some of the pain she was going through.
Number Seven. Procrastination.
Procrastination during these years of the pandemic has become a full-blown addiction, in the world of addiction! So many people have realize that they’ve gained 50 or 100 pounds over the last couple years, but they are procrastinating on solving their health issue.
I just had a couple start working with me in regards to an addiction to alcohol, that they started increasing their intake at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to have the time fly by in their words, and for the last three years they kept saying they were going to cut back or quit drinking but never did.
They procrastinated for such a long time, that the uptick in their alcohol intake now has them on the verge of divorce.
Procrastination is a huge driver in the world of addiction, and I believe at some point for many people it is absolutely becoming a mental illness, or at the very least a mental obstruction to success.
We are looking to create a “small army of mental health coaches”, that can go out into this world and do even what our government cannot do: offer one on one care for people struggling with mental health and or addiction challenges.
All of the above examples I believe point quite clearly to one answer: every addiction has an underlying mental illness or mental challenge that we need to look at very deeply as we try to help people recover during these incredibly challenging times.
And this whole article is one of the reasons why I created many months ago a brand new life coach certification aimed at helping people with all of the above-mentioned topics, finally learn how to heal and to become clean from any addiction in the world.
“The mental health and master life coach certification “, is being offered both in person in my offices in Fort Myers Florida, As well as via zoom from anywhere in the world.
This 30-hour certification, in which no pre-training or pre-education is necessary, will give you all of the tools necessary to be able to help your clients find the origin of their addictions or mental health challenges, as well as help, empower them to find the solutions for what they are going through.
These certified coaches will also now have the opportunity to earn a full-time or part-time income.
The coaches that go through our certifications, and we have been certifying coaches since 1996 all over the world, earn between $50 and $250 per session.
So if you’re looking for a way to make a major difference in this world, helping people heal, and at the same time create a part-time or full-time income, this is probably one of the best ways you could ever do it in a short period of time.
Individuals that go through our training, can complete everything and be in the world of life coaching helping others in his little is 90 days, while other people will take six months to go through the training.
As I have been saying for the past two years, if our country doesn’t start putting a major emphasis into helping diminish the mental health issues, helping people to heal from their mental health issues, the world of addiction is going to continue to rise, health challenges will continue to be a number one concern in this country and relationships will continue to go down the tubes.
And all of this is related to our mental health.
Join me, be one of the proactive individuals in this country that truly wants to make a difference in helping people to heal. And at the same time, we might just find healing within ourselves as well.
The time is now. We have no time to waste. We need to move together and attack the challenges our country is facing in a logical, and powerful way. We are ready, and encourage you to join us.“