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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Baxter

Drama, the other addictive drug

There's an alarming wealth of evidence showing that more and more people are addicted to drama. We've used this lightheartedly or to make a point not realizing that there's much scientific proof to this. And it's scary when research is showing that relationships that are full of drama can be more addicting than most drugs right now. We wonder how this can possibly be true. Look at it this way. When you fight, your body actually has an adrenaline rush. Eventually, you calm down and return to normal. Think about how many people enjoy making up after a fight or argument. Some look forward to the sex or peacemaking that comes afterwards. You come down from the high and you're euphoric all over again. But this state doesn't last long. Your body now craves that high. So you may tend to desire that feeling that you got when your emotions were at an all-time high.

Are you addicted to drama? Evaluate your past relationships (or current one). There's a love/hate cycle that tends to repeat itself. Let's look at this cycle together.

The Love/Hate Cycle

  1. Everything's great. You're in love and you're pleased. Things are going well and you couldn't be happier.

  2. A need isn't met by your partner. There's an expectation that they didn't live up to, and it has you upset. Somehow, they've frustrated or disappointed you.

  3. You're, in a sense, addicted to the other person. It's as if they have become your drug. When they're around and when things are good, you're high. You're filled with euphoria, which is a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. But maybe a fight happened, or something they did or said triggered you in some way. You wonder about possibly being abandoned, neglected, or rejected in some sense. You're now in panic mode, because in your mind, you need them.

  4. As the drug wears off, it takes you to a place that you don't enjoy. It does something to you mentally and emotionally. For whatever reason, you believe your partner is the reason you feel this way.

  5. Enter in the drama. Intense fights and arguments. You may lash out, attack (verbally or physically). Many become either possessive and controlling or they withdraw. Some even criticize and attack, all in hopes of forcing the partner to return to meeting their needs.

The problem is that instead of being just addicted to the partner or the love, a person may also become addicted to the drama. They thoroughly enjoy the highs and lows. They like the cycles and the patterns, and their body craves it and desires it. It's no different than a person trying to get their fix on another drug of choice.

There are always underlying issues when a person has themselves in this pattern, this vicious cycle. It's an issue of abandonment that stems from somewhere. Maybe an absentee parent, a loss that was properly grieved, or even a previous heartbreak from another romantic relationship. There's something inside that's saying that the pain that was previously felt might possibly return again. And that's a scary thought for the addict.

Studies show that drama in relationships is more powerful and addictive than cocaine and heroin. We go through a cycle and release adrenaline (which is already addicting). The adrenaline drops. We make up. We release endorphins and dopamine in our systems during the make-up. Our bodies now associate drama and pain with pleasure.

When we’re angry, the pre-frontal lobe of our brain shuts off. All rationale goes out the window and we lack self-control. If this happens, it works to put your hand over your chest and feel your heartbeat. Do this for 2 minutes. The pre-frontal lobe starts activating amygdala (the emotional side). Doing this actually re-activates the thought process.

The goal must be to find better, healthier ways to meet the needs in a functional way. A relationship filled with drama and a repetitive love/hate cycle is not healthy. God wants better for you. You deserve better. You deserve peace, love, kindness, and stability. Not only do you deserve it, but you're required to give those things as well. It's remembering what love truly is. Love is action. It's a choice and conscious decision to show your feelings in a healthy manner. Mania love is one that is crazy, impulsive, and needy. There's nothing that is healthy or OK about this.

I was one that was previously addicted to drama and I had no idea. But it stemmed from my own strong need and desire for love. A love that I didn't have for myself. Once I learned how to accept God's love and how to love myself, it made a world of difference! It changed how I viewed love. True self-love is the precursor for true love with another person. If you're struggling with that, I have something for you here. I now know how to properly display it, keeping my emotions in check instead of allowing them to drive me.

Are you a person addicted to drama? Have you found yourself making the same decisions with men and reverting back to the same bad habits that obviously aren't working for you? Are you constantly driven by your emotions instead of being in control of them? It's time to Breakout! If you're ready to do something about it, let's do it! Otherwise, you'll stay on the same merry go round, with no hope or end in sight. It's going to keep you from what it is you ultimately desire: love.

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