Love addiction may seem less harmful than some of the better-known addictions, but it shares many similarities with them. It may not directly damage one’s health and finances in the same way as drug dependency for example, but it can undoubtedly wreak havoc with many areas of a sufferer’s life. If they are seeking love addiction therapy Atlanta GA residents will find they have a number of options for dealing with this distressing disorder.
This surprisingly common condition is characterized by compulsive behavior patterns with regard to romance and sexuality. These behaviors are driven by deep-seated hopes and fears that cause the sufferer profound stress, turmoil and unhappiness. Sufferers tend to have poor self-esteem and fear pain, rejection and unfamiliar experiences. Their compulsive romantic and/or sexual relationship patterns are an unconscious attempt to bolster a fragile sense of self and to assuage deep insecurity.
This disorder, for the most part, originates in childhood trauma. Most sufferers have a history that includes serious issues such as abandonment, neglect, rejection and emotional, physical and sometimes sexual abuse. These kind of damaging experiences foster a wounded sense of self that can trigger a multitude of emotional problems.
Victims are troubled souls who typically have great difficulty forming healthy, constructive relationships with other people. Part of the problem lies in their inability to establish clear boundaries. Many encroach too much on other people – being excessively clingy or stifling. Others can be overly possessive, controlling and jealous.
People with this disorder will tend to exhibit certain pathologies in their relationships. Things like difficulty staying single for any length of time, anxiety about being single, tolerating abusive relationships, sabotaging relationships, sabotaging their reputation (by unwisely pursuing unsuitable potential partners) and ruining their finances, are just a handful of the kind of problems that sufferers create for themselves.
A big issue for many sufferers is the difficulty they have in concentrating on important areas of their lives. Their career/work lives can suffer tremendously through a lack of focus and failures in self-discipline and productivity. Their relationships with family members can suffer due to the same inattentiveness. Conflict can also arise with family members who recognize the sufferer’s unhealthy relationship patterns and try to intervene.
Overcoming these and other addictive behavior patterns can certainly be a challenge. There are however effective therapies that enable patients to move beyond them. Cognitive behavioral therapy, twelve-step support groups and individual counseling are three proven ways in which patients can begin changing what are often very entrenched negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Whatever treatment patients decide to undergo, they will usually be asked to abstain from romantic/sexual relationships for a period of time. This break allows them to get some distance from their problems and to gain some perspective. Abstinence also gives patients the time, if necessary, to deal with related issues such as eating disorders and drug or alcohol abuse. In due course, with the proper support, patients can expect to reach a point where they can establish healthy, loving relationships that are firmly based on reality and foster genuine intimacy.
Read more about Should They Require Love Addiction Therapy Atlanta Residents Have Dedicated Professionals They Can Turn To.