Addiction can and often does begin at the point of Discovery. The initial high or rush is extraordinarily gratifying, pain-relieving or wish-fulfilling.
Addiction implies dependency. An irreversible attachment or relationship is established.
Emotional withdrawal occurs when the effect wears off. Reality becomes a “less than” experience. A state of perpetual insatiability begins.
Denial is operating, rendering the experience/relationship ego-syntonic or unconscious. If other people are sharing the discovery experience, consensual agreement makes it real and valid. Dependency and Denial: Occur and begin simultaneously. Never exist one without the other. Are equal and synergistic. The relationship becomes primary – more powerful than any other. The relationship is carried on secretly, apart from the rest of the world. Denial, deception and delusion are involved – eliminating all internal and external conflicts of interest, utilizing a sophisticated array of highly effective psychological weaponry. The state of insatiability is perpetuated. Emotional withdrawal creates a vicious cycle that cause the level of psychic pain to actually increase over time, which only strengthens the relationship, level of emotional involvement and frequency of activity. Being sober becomes an increasingly “less than” experience. As the disease progresses, expect a decrease in overall functioning over time, deterioration in all facets of life, i.e. health, school/work performance, relationships, legal, exacerbation of pre-existing issues. Consensual Agreement continues to reinforce denial by redefining the activity and experience as desirable, preferred, normal, healthy, and inconsequential, further insulating the addict from reality and the rest of the world.