This article is now available in the March, 2014 edition of Sober World Magazine (p. 28). The summary and references for this article is provided below:
Here I am observing the occurrence of addiction as both an individual and collective experience. Addiction can be seen as a cyclical, chronic compulsion overwhelming the psyche to seek and use regardless of the consequence. I view the phenomenon of addiction from a theoretical lens, primarily influenced by Jungian psychology and psychodynamic theory. Here the intention is to discuss an aspect of the addictive experience through theory, as this will allow for the theory to “establish (some) truth: A theory gives meaning by helping us make sense of what we see, hear, feel, smell, or taste (empirical reality) and even of what we cannot experience by means of our senses, that is, metaphysics” (Rutgers, 2012, p. 458)…
…The relevance of emotion when discussing addiction lies in the interplay between emotion, the ego, and the shadow. Addiction as an experience is dissociative, so the attention is brought to how emotions impact an individual in addiction, or as seen through Jungian psychology, how the collisions of an ego result in overpowering emotions. Dissociation is not necessarily pathological, and the dissociative experiences are certainly not delusional, as the individual retains insight. Dissociation is a primary defense utilized by the ego. Material is separated and compartmentalized in order to keep what is psychologically threatening, or intolerable, out of awareness. In this way, dissociation keeps us safe, because it keeps us from becoming too overwhelmed, allowing our minds and bodies to continue functioning to some degree…
Continue Reading… (pg. 28 in Sober World Magazine)
Jung, C. G. (1979). Aion. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 9). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1951)
Rutgers, M. (2012). How to do things without theory. Administrative Theory & Praxis. 34(3), 457–461.