Emotional Aspects

The basic PEMS model we use to look at addiction includes emotional aspects. These are all the things that affect your feelings and emotional state.

Sobriety, Abstinence, or Moderation

Physical sobriety, abstinence, or moderation is a prerequisite for dealing with most emotional issues. Many people, even professionals, point to feelings as causing addiction. We think emotional factors affect addiction, not cause it. You may learn and grow emotionally while using, but somewhere you will probably get stuck until you abstain from the addictive substance or moderate the behavior.

In Addiction

Emotions while addicted are tumultuous, erratic, often uncontrolled, and painful. Fear, loneliness, self-pity, anger, shame, and guilt are pervasive. You feel in bondage to them. Recovery frees you for joy, spontaneity, and freedom.

Since feelings are biochemical, they are affected by your physical state, such as fatigue, hormone problems, hunger, and stress. You won’t always feel good in recovery, but if you are lucky, you will always be able to feel.


Emotional asnects. see also: Abuse, Anger, Body image, Craving, Crisis, Dual diagnosis, Emotions Anonymous, Energy levels, Family of Origin, Fear, Feelings, Grief, Obsession, Panic attacks, Premenstrual syndrome, Pregnancy, Relaxation, Stress & strain, Tranquilizers.

Updated 7 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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