Published: 04/18/2012 - Updated: 10/20/2018
Addiction in youth is something that can worry parents or people in their surroundings, especially when children are already a bit older and the addition is strong, making it more complex to get to them and give our help.
What is an addiction?
Addiction is dependence either to a substance, activity or relationship. There are many types and degrees of dependency, but the more bigger it isand problem to control it, the more the degree of addiction to it.
You can be addicted to food, alcohol, talking, to chocolates, to want to know, to want to fight, competition, drugs or chemicals, a couple, the game (gambling), etc. We are all, in certain way, addicted to something, as having full control or command of our impulses is not always achieved. However, when the lack of self control begins to affect the life in a non-constructively way, then we can say that the person is addicted and needs help.
Symptoms of an addict
The symptoms of an addict are differente depending on the degree of dependence or personality:
- Aggressive, violent and intolerant attitude.
- Resistance to communication.
- Isolation from others and emotional distance (cold).
- Physical Neglect.
- Depression and pessimism.
- Poor concentration in reality.
- Avoidance of intimacy.
Why is it an addiction?
An addiction can occur for two main reasons:
- Because of a deep need to escape the emotional pain, which is generated because the person was very spoiled or he has no limits, or received abuse or rejection when growing up. An unstable family environment, along with poor emotional understanding or culture of self-confidence and self-acceptance, causes low self-esteem or feelings of injustice, insecurity, powerlessness and protest against an unfair world. The drug or addiction, in this case, is the fastest and most effective way to get rid of painful feelings and escape for a while to feelings of greater peace, pleasure and enjoyment.
- The search for a deeper spirituality and / or a most sweet and magical vision of the world, can push the young man to test the proposed paths of chemical stimulants. We should emphasize that the inculcation of a particular religion to the young in doesn't justify a development of spirituality, because often the young man feels no inner strength to be repeating mechanical concepts proposed by many religions. The lack of a deeper spirituality, happy and understood by parents, or acting under very judicious criteria as "good and evil", can cause bad feelings in children.
How should I help an addicted child?
You should first take into account the age and degree of addiction. It is much easier when the boy is younger and the addiction is not very pronounced.
In this case, consider that the main way to help children is communication . And for this we must separate the guide or help, with our own growth, because if we have had an addicted child, we surely have a lot to learn now. If we do not grow, it will be difficult to give help, if we fail ourselves and our own insecurities and fears, then possibly we'll offer a blind support.
The topic can be very large and can have many questions, but here are some tips to guide you as you seek more support:
- Remove the guilt: guilt is a feeling of self-punishment. And it is very likely that parents who raised the addict kid may feel it, thinking that they failed not given the necessary things. However, if an addict perceives our guilt, he will ignore us, because we feel insecure or hidden need of punishment. We must recognize that we always have done things the best we can. There are many parents that raise their children with feelings of pain, deep sorrow, and they have to keep on going for their kids. Anyway, we've always done our best, and perhaps it is time to begin to heal ourselves as parents, to help heal the children.
- Avoid judging: it is very important that you never speak with words like "you are wrong", "you will be nothing" or similar. Do not scold, do not try to fix things with severe punishment. This will only aggravate things.
- Rather than criticize, punish or judge, we must speak clearly, it is important that the young kid feels heard. Talk about yourself, about how you felt in your life, and that it have not been easy sometimes. If he does not pay attention or listen to you, ask him about his feelings. If he is evasive or responds with a simple "fine", you can talk a little about pain, tell him that it is something that comes naturally to people, and put it as a positive feeling that can help us grow and look great things of life. Offer books of inner growth that restore self confidence or seek help from a professional for guidance.
In general, addict children tend to have anger againts their parents or people who raised them. It is important that if you were very permissive in education, the young man has no interior boundaries and may feel very disoriented and confused. Here we recommend you to read about how to set healthy boundaries for children and youth.
You should work with the abuse and your own feelings of violence. Find and understand your own anger and frustrations, mature your feelings of loneliness, if you learn that, you will teach easily to your son. This can actually be a blessing if you approach from the perspective of mutual growth. Remember that life doesn't exist in a state of perfection, but in a state of transformation.