Last month our very own Leanne attended a HuddlUp with Suffolk MIND all about addictions which was held at Quay Place. The event played host to our monthly writer and worker for Suffolk MIND Ezra Hewing, who spoke to guests about addictions and how the mechanisms in our brains interact when addicted to a behaviour.
Ezra spoke of how addictive behaviours can often be associated with control and relief, and how addictions can address unmet needs. We all have needs, both physical and mental. Sometimes we cannot meet some of these needs and search for other ways of doing so. Unmet needs could be met via a behaviour such as drug or alcohol use, however this can soon become an addictive behaviour. We then turn to our addictive behaviour for a release from the cravings and the pain of withdrawal. But what we do not always realise is that the pleasure of this behaviour decreases each time and therefore we need to do it more and more to reach the level we initially experienced.
The truth is; addictions rob us of natural pleasure.
Self-harm, drinking, taking drugs, binge eating; these behaviours can provide us all with some form of control. For some people who feel out of control one of these behaviours could be their way of meeting that unmet need of feeling some form of control in their lives.
Addiction is more common than many people realise with estimations of 3 children in every classroom already experiencing addictive behaviours.
During the event a guest speaker, Clemmie, bravely spoke to everyone about her own experiences with addictions. We at Student Life have been lucky enough to have Clemmie write an article on her experiences with addiction and how she has come through the other side.