Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Adverse Childhood Experiences, Part 2

Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part post series. Start with Part 1 so that you’ll be up to speed on what Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are, how to identify your ACEs, and how they impact your life on all levels.

There’s no doubt about it: Childhood trauma leaves a uniquely painful impact on our lives. Thanks to the study of psychosocial development in early childhood, we know that early life trauma impedes our development in very specific ways.

However, we also know this: Everyone has trauma of some kind. No one makes it through this world unscathed. And from the perspective of Spiritual Psychology, we also know that it’s possible to see all the events of our lives - even the most painful ones - as part of our growth and development, not separate from it!

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Adverse Childhood Experiences, Part 1

Pop quiz: At what age do our childhood hurts stop hurting? Put another way, what’s the cutoff point when you shift out of childhood pain and forget it for good?

This is a trick question, because the truth is that there is no such magical age. There is no specified time at which the traumas of our childhood suddenly stop being traumatic. So why do we act as though this is true?

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Powerlessness

It’s a good thing to admit that you’re powerless over your addiction … isn’t it?

Not so fast.

The very first step of the 12-Step paradigm begins: “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol …”

But what if that negative affirmation actually prevents you from getting well?

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Reparenting

Have you ever had the experience of seeing a fellow adult acting like a child? Perhaps you saw someone else burst into tears at a perceived slight, or fly into a rage at the drop of a hat.

If so, it’s likely that you had the thought, “Wow, that person is acting like a kindergartener.”

Guess what? You’re right. Not only is that person acting like a kid, but on an emotional level, he or she really is much younger. At that particular point in time, they’re operating as a hurt child.

The way forward in this situation is not to find a time machine and travel back to the past. Instead, it’s to learn how to reparent the younger part of ourselves right here and now.


Addiction and ADHD

Do you know which lauded Olympic Gold medalist and champion has ADHD?

If you guessed swimmer Michael Phelps, you’d be correct. He has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder … and he’s the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympic Games.

Here’s what Phelps had to say about the power of perseverance:

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work … there are no limits.”

Here, we’ll explore how addiction often overlaps with ADHD, and help you in your next steps if you have a dual diagnosis. Our belief is that, if you’re willing to find help and do the work of recovery, then Phelps is spot on - there are no limits on your life.

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Until recently, the popular conception of autism didn’t include addiction.

Why not? First and foremost, individuals with autism tend to be more socially isolated, so people assumed that they wouldn’t succumb to peer pressure to try drugs.

As author and self-advocate Maia Szalavitz wrote in her...


Addiction and Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Have you ever felt frustrated by your own ability to self-sabotage? Ever felt deeply dismayed at how you keep shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to recovering from addiction?

If so, you are certainly not alone. Since time immemorial, human beings have fought...


Addiction and Person-Centered Therapy

Have you ever had the experience of feeling demeaned and diminished … as though you weren’t worth very much?

Have you ever had your thoughts, feelings, and ideas dismissed by another person? Ever had your concerns negated with narrowing of the eyes or a wave...

Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and Shame

“Shame is a soul-eating emotion.” So said Carl Jung, one of the most influential voices in modern psychology and psychiatry. Those are strong words, but justifiably so.

While shame is a near-universal human emotion - experienced by everyone but sociopaths - it also does tremendous...