Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BULIMIA and ADDICTION: Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach

The Relationship Between Bulimia and Addiction


The chaotic nature of Bulimia Nervosa reflects many similarities with drug and alcohol addiction. In fact, Bulimia Nervosa is commonly co-occurring with drug addictions. Many research studies have demonstrated the overlapping behaviours of eating disorders and substance abuse and the similar addictive personality that is often observed in individuals who suffer with both addictions and bulimia.

Studies on Addiction and Substance Abuse have shown that approximately 35 percent of all women who suffer from alcoholism also suffer with an eating disorder. Eating disorder sufferers also have an increased risk of abusing alcohol or illicit drugs, with studies revealing that up to 50 percent of individuals with eating disorders simultaneously struggling with drug and alcohol addictions or even love and sex addictions..

What Are the Factors of This Relationship?

What factors contribute to the similar nature of these psychiatric illnesses? What links these disorders and makes them frequent co-morbid conditions among sufferers?

The following factors may explain the commonalities that are observed in both eating disorders, such as bulimia, and substance abuse and/or addiction:

Genetics

Eating disorders and other addictions are influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics. Shared genetic influences can certainly result in the correlation that is seen between bulimia and other addictions.

Research has found that approximately 83 percent of the phenotype connection between substance abuse and bulimia nervosa was determined by genetic influences. Genetic factors also influence the expression of a person’s biological make-up, which can account for the development of co-occurring conditions.

For example an individual may have lower levels of neurotransmitters as a result of their genetics, which can be linked to the susceptibility of addictive disorders. The biology and genetics of a person will directly determine if they are vulnerable to developing an eating disorder, drug addiction, or both.

Environmental

Many similar environmental factors can trigger the development of bulimia or other addictions in genetically predisposed individuals. This can include stressors such as:
  • Childhood abuse
  • Trauma
  • Life transitions, including:
  • Moving to college
  • Experiencing a divorce
  • The death of a loved one

Family history can also be an influential factor. Individuals who have family members that have either abused drugs, alcohol, gambling or who struggled with an eating disorder have a greater chance of developing similar behaviours.

Characteristics / Behaviours

Bulimia and substance or behavioural addictions share may common behaviours and characteristics, such as:
  • Compulsivity (drinking, bingeing, purging, excessive exercise, etc)
  • Obsessive preoccupation (with food, a substance, or an activity)
  • Ritualistic behaviours (OCD)
  • Impulsive choices
  • Social isolation
  • Psychological

Conditions that are psychological by nature may also connect bulimia with a drug/alcohol addiction as well as sex and love addictions, and even gambling addictions..

This includes injured self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Other existing psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also influence the development of co-morbid conditions.

Suffering with co-morbid conditions, such as bulimia and a drug or love addiction, can be overwhelming and devastating. The physical, emotional, and psychological consequences that result from these disorders can be destructive to both the individual and the loved ones involved in their life.

There Is Still Hope

Even in the bleakest of situations, there is always hope. Because of the similar nature of these conditions and the frequency with which they co-occur, many treatment programs offer programs specifically tailored for dual-diagnoses.

The complexity that is involved with treating both an eating disorder and other addictions is prevalent, and professional treatment that specialises in co-morbid conditions is highly recommended and encouraged.

Treatment Is Available

Treatment for these conditions may overlap and includes various forms of:
  • Psychotherapy/Recovery Coaching (incl 12 step groups)
  • Pharmacological treatments
  • Psychiatric / psychological work
  • Medical and natural nutrition therapy

Enlisting the help and support of professionals/recovery coach who specialise in dual diagnosis treatment can promote recovery and help a person truly heal from the many factors involved in both bulimia and other addictions.

If you or a loved one is suffering with both bulimia and any other addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling sex and love, do not delay in asking for the help you need, as the combination of these conditions can prove fatal. Talk to a loved one or trusted friend or mentor if you are not sure where to turn to for help. There is hope for your recovery and for the restoration of your life.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS IN THE GRIPS OF BULIMIA AND OR OTHER ADDICTIONS YOU CAN CALL US TODAY: PH 0439 399 809
EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com . HELP FOR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES ALSO AVAILABLE.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WHAT IS A MARTYRDOM (Martyr syndrome): Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach.

WHAT IS A MARTYRDOM 
(Martyr syndrome)

HAVING A MARTYR SYNDROME IS LIKE HAVING A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.


It allows you to evade guilt and shame, bypass self-responsibility, and perhaps most importantly (and tragically), it allows you to dodge real life self-growth. Having a martyr syndrome essentially involves pointing the finger at other people or situations in your life and blaming them for your illnesses, disappointments, crushed dreams, and emotional turmoil.

So what is a Martyr? Do you have a Martyr in your life? And most importantly, do you tend to exhibit Martyrdom?

FIRSTLY, WHAT IS A MARTYR?

Traditionally a martyr is understood as a person who is willing to die for their country, religion or beliefs. These days, a martyr refers to a person who unnecessarily sacrifices themselves for others, while ignoring their own needs.

WHAT IS A MARTYR COMPLE SYNDROME?

A martyr syndrome is a destructive pattern of behaviour in which a person habitually seeks suffering or persecution as a way to feel “good” about themselves. We all have the capacity to be martyrs, but martyr complex sufferers adopt this as a daily role, often to the detriment of their relationships.

Having a martyr syndrome is a way of life that taints every interaction a person has towards others and their role in the world. I say this because I frequently speak with and coach self-imposed martyrs. I have also had first hand experience with a martyr in my life.

WHY DO PEOPLE DEVELOP MARTYR SYNDROME?

Why do some people become self-imposed victims, and others become self-possessed champions? There are a number of potential reasons why, and all of them might help you to develop a more compassionate understanding of others and/or yourself:

Childhood experiences mould us significantly, and often martyr complexes develop out of adopting the twisted behavioural patterns and values of our parents. For example, if our mother/father were self-imposed victims who gave up all of their hopes and dreams for us, it is likely that we would adopt the values of being “selfless, sacrificial and kind.” As our parent’s and family members were like “gods” to us when we were little, we unconsciously adopt many of their traits.

Societal/cultural conditioning also contributes greatly to our tendency to develop certain complexes throughout life. For example, making a simple comparison of South American and North American tradition reveals a lot about differing cultural expectations. Latina women, for example, are traditionally expected to be motherly, nurturing, self-sacrificing homemakers. American women, on the other hand, are frequently encouraged to be active, successful, and even a little selfish, business women. Our cultural roots determine many of the thoughts and feelings we have about who we are, and who we “should” be.

Self-esteem and the subsequent development of core beliefs is also a major contributor to developing a martyr syndrome. The worse one feel about themselves, the more they tend to try covering this up by making believe that one is “kind, loving, compassionate and caring.” Being a self-imposed martyr also removes the need for this person to take responsibility for their lives by scapegoating other people as the cause one's failures and disappointments.

THE MARTYR SYNDROME CHECKLIST

Here we’ll examine the martyr syndrome more in depth. All signs and examples will be phrased in the third person.

1. The person has a martyr as their hero, e.g. Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Jesus, or perhaps a parent or grandparent who abandoned all of their hopes and dreams in “service” of the family.

2. They were born into a culture/country/family that has very strict gender roles, religious creeds, or expectations.

3. They display signs of low self-esteem, e.g. inability to receive love or affection, negative body image, excessive judgement, moodiness, etc.

4. They were abused as a child emotionally, psychologically or physically (e.g. by a parent, sibling, family member, church member, teacher, etc.).

5. They have stayed in an abusive relationship or friendship, even despite their ailing health and well-being.

6. They refuse to accept responsibility for the decisions and choices that have caused them pain or suffering.

7. They portray themselves as righteous, self-sacrificing, the “nice guy/girl,” the saint, the caretaker, or the hero.

8. They blame the selfishness and inhumanity of other people for their repression and oppression.

9. They seek to reassure themselves of their innocence and greatness.

10. They exaggerate their level of suffering, hardship and mistreatment.

11. They have a cynical, paranoid or even suspicious perception of other people’s intentions.

12. They have an obsessive need to be right.

13. They have a hard time saying “no” and setting personal boundaries.

14. They assume that other people can read their mind.

15. They emotionally manipulate or coerce people into doing what they want by portraying themselves as the noble sufferer.

16. They don’t take initiative to solve their problems or try to actively remedy them.

17. When the Martyr’s problems are solved, they find more “problems” to complain about.

18. They actively seek appreciation, recognition, and attention for their efforts by creating drama.

Examples:

1. Sandra is in a relationship with Steve who is an alcoholic. Her friends have constantly advised her to leave the relationship for her health, but Sandra keeps insisting that she will “change” Paul and help him to be a better person – despite his reluctance to improve himself.

2. Charlie is constantly staying overtime at work without being asked to. When one of his colleagues is promoted to the position of regional  manager within the company, he guilt trips his boss by pointing out how “hard he works and how much he sacrifices” without getting anything in return.

3. Lucy is trying her best at university, and yet her mother is frequently asking her for help within the house. When Lucy explains that she “has a lot to do” because of her university study, her mother starts complaining how selfish and unthoughtful she is, and how she “has given up everything to get Lucy where she is.”

4. John and Reno own a restaurant. When John suggests that Reno “take a break,” Reno responds by saying, “Without me, this place will fall apart. I have no choice but to stay here.”

5. Valentina and Sandro have been married for 20 years. When Sandro suggests that Valentina start painting again, Valentina says, “How can I? I have to continue taking care of my children; I have too much to do,” even though both of their children are self-sufficient teenagers.

DEALING WITH MARTYR SYNDROME:

Some basic pieces of advice for helping yourself if you struggle with martyr syndrome.

Firstly be honest with yourself. Honesty requires the courage and desire to truly live an empowered life.

Secondly, learn to take responsibility for your decisions, feelings and actions. Although it can be painful and hard to do, taking responsibility allows you to draw a line between what you can and can’t change in your life.


Thirdly, learn to value and positive regard for yourself. When you learn to respect and love yourself, you learn to say “no” to anything that doesn’t serve you such as blaming, victimisation and deliberate suffering. Consequently, you allow yourself to truly enjoy life and find authentic self- fulfilment.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE SUFFERS FROM MARTYR SYNDROME CALL US FOR HELP. PH 0439 399 809 EMAIL rmittiga@icloud.com