Behavioural Addiction as a Trance State?

It has been suggested that when an individual gives in to a behavioural compulsion (whether it be to compulsively gamble, have sex, overeat etc.) they enter into a ‘Trance State’.
A ‘Trance State’ can be described as a state of detachment, of separation from ones surroundings. In theory, you can be living simultaneously in both the real world and the trance world, constantly flitting between the two often without anybody realising.
We all enter into trance states at various times, and a certain amount of escapism can be beneficial. It can help us to unwind. It can help to take our mind of a certain situation in order for us to gain a little perspective.
However, it can also be quite destructive at times.
Entering into this detached trance state can allow an individual to avoid any feelings that they may not be ready or able to deal with at that time. Often these feelings might be painful, for example grief, guilt and shame. Such feelings can be difficult to confront and so escaping into a trance world can seem like the better, and much easier, option.
Someone who does this regularly can become quite adept and skillful at living in the trance world, using it to cover their true feelings. By doing so, they may gain a sense of control and a feeling of power which can lead to the individual becoming dependent on the trance state. This may be especially true in situations where the ‘real world’ produces feelings of helplessness and loss of control.
Ultimately, however, the trance world is unsustainable. Eventually the individual will have to return to the real world. This may be as the resources that have been used to maintain the trance state gradually become exhausted. Or it may be that the physical implications of their behaviour become unavoidable (for example, their health is damaged as a result of the trance behaviour).
What then?
What happens to the individual who realises that they have lost everything in trying to maintain their escapism?
It may not be until this point has been reached that they realise they have a problem. This realisation can often lead to feelings of shame, and guilt, and pain. The very feelings they may have been trying to avoid in the first place.
The most important thing for anybody to know at this point is that there is help available.
There are many online support groups, forums etc. available. There should also be help available in your locality. A quick Google search should provide you with a starting point. Speaking about your experiences and feelings can also prove to be hugely beneficial, whether that’s to a professional counsellor, or just to a close friend.
Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving the problem.

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