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Get Out of the Maze

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"A thing which has not been understood inevitably reappears; like an unlaid ghost, it cannot rest until the mystery has been resolved and the spell broken." Sigmund Freud

Have you tried to stop doing something but no matter what, you find yourself going back again and again? If so, you are one of the hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. alone, who can not break a pattern. Here are a few:

15.1 Million Alcohol Abusers (NIH) 10% of children live with an alcoholic parent

11.4 Million Opiate Abusers (HHS.GOV )

6 Million Gambling Disorders (Natl. Institute of Problem Gambling)

50 Million Nicotine Addicts (NIH)

70 Million Food and Eating Disorders (Orlando Centinel 9/2/16)

9 Million Sex Addicts (Project Know)

These sites do not include other addictions; illegal drugs, exercise, pornography, shopping, video games, work and almost endless list. Did you know that if we eliminated drug and food disorders, there would be virtually no health care problems? We have been brainwashed into thinking that this pill, this food, a new outfit, car, or relationship will make everything ok. By age eighteen, I was one of those people caught in the maze of addiction, but I finally cracked the code.


You may have tried everything, and you have succumbed to the part of your mind that says you will never succeed. After 30 years of personal healing and working with thousands of people, it only takes a few minutes to identify where people remain stuck in the maze: Here are some of the reasons:

1. You think you can control the behavior that you do not want. This is completely illogical. Why control something that has had you all of your life? Why control something that you do not want?

2. You've been to treatment or some other program so many times, you've given up. If treatment does not work by the second or third time, it should be treated like another addiction.

3. You've been under the misperception that if you stop doing something, it's over. Nothing is over until you get to the root of the problem that you keep self-medicating.

4. You think that you are allergic to your feelings and that it is wrong to feel. Perfectly understandable given the fact that your emotions have gotten you into more trouble than you ever wanted. Do this, take that, for the quick fix, but the quick fix is not the real fix for emotional discomfort. You can learn how to use your emotions as healthy inner-guidance rather than for self-destruction. Just the other day I ran into a friend who was eating a large bag of jelly beans as if it were his last meal. When I asked him how he was doing, he said okay, but then admitted he was depressed and could not understand why. When I reminded him he might still be grieving over his mother's death, he told me; "That's impossible, that was three years ago!" I asked him where he acquired the timeline for mourning a loss. His tear-filled eyes gazed deeply into mine, and then he hugged me, said thank you, and walked away. When we honor our feelings as a natural part of healing our pain, we will no longer feel the need to medicate them.

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Dr. Donna Marks Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Donna Marks is an educator and licensed psychotherapist and addictions counselor in Palm Beach, Florida. She has worked with over 6,000 clients. She became licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate Degree in (more...)

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