A hypnotherapy teacher I once had shared her belief that drug addicts and people with severe fears/phobias have “entities” attached to them. Instantly, a picture flashed in my mind of slimy gremlins with teeth and claws, clinging to innocent humans. I began getting freaked out, and had to ask her to explain! According to the teacher, addiction itself becomes like a person—a parasite, really—that is secretly running the life of its host, sapping all their joy. The same is true for someone who lives with acute fear(s), which completely overpowers them and controls their behavior, emotions, words, and decisions.
I can’t say I’m willing to think of a drug addict or fear-ridden person as plagued by a parasitic entity…that’s a couple steps into the realm of “too weird” for me. However, in my work with clients over the years, I have come to understand what my early teacher was talking about.
For example, someone with a strong fear of driving is compelled to check in with that phobia before making any plans requiring travel. Person to Fear: “Would it be okay if I go visit Grandma on Saturday, or will you cripple me with terror and make me hyperventilate when I get in the car?” Fear to Person: “NO! You can’t go! What are you thinking? You would have to drive on the freeway, and I won’t let you do that!” At this point, the sufferer crawls into him- or herself and starts feeling anxious before they’ve even gotten anywhere near the car. They’re defeated once again, and their life just keeps getting smaller. In addition to that, they now have to make an embarrassing phone call to Grandma explaining (i.e. making up) the reason why they can’t come and see her.
Drug addicts have it even worse, as that drug, or more accurately, the need to keep that drug flowing through their bodies, literally consumes most of their waking thoughts. The fear of not having access to that drug totally runs their lives. I include food addiction in this category, as anyone who has an issue with food will tell you that thinking about it takes up a huge amount of their time. The only difference is that food addiction is quite a bit less destructive than drug addiction—or at least, less immediately destructive.
To make matters worse, in both cases, people around the afflicted person do not understand why that individual can’t “just stop” taking the drug or overeating. Why can’t that phobic individual “just get over it”? People who don’t have these problems simply don’t comprehend how difficult it is for people who do.
If you suffer from an addiction or phobia, what can you do? Get professional help. Like a weed planted in your back yard, either one of these issues will grow like crazy unless you do something early, when they’re less deeply rooted. From my experience with clients, it’s apparent that if ignored, these problems fester and get bigger—one small, mildly annoying fear can blossom into five huge, debilitating ones. With drugs, it’s even worse. These days, there are illicit drugs that can hook users after just one dose. Others may take longer, but it’s unsafe to experiment.
Both addiction and dysfunctional fear, which as you can see have certain similarities, are not only devastating to the person affected, but to everyone around them, including their family and loved ones. Getting help might be easier if you consider that these issues affect more than just you. I, myself, am the daughter of a person who suffered from severe fears and phobias, and over time I’ve had to confront the detrimental effects this had on my own psyche. Please! Love yourself and your family enough to do the work to heal, because all of you deserve the best life possible.
And if you need help, Give me a call today!
Jill Thomas 760-803-2841