Many, if not most, of us in this culture are suffering from various types of mental challenges; some mild, some more severe. In fact, it really looks like we're living in a downright indulgent, dysfunctional country, where almost no one is willing to be accountable or responsible. Just take a look at the virtual pandemic of addictions, from food and drugs to texting and shopping, happening today, in my article on the addiction pandemic.
Sometimes, these issues hit extra-close to home. If your spouse or partner is suffering from an addiction, here are some things to keep in mind. Healing is a full mind, body and soul process, so it's important to consider all of that while looking at the problem.
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1. Know you are not alone.
Sometimes part of the illusion of the addiction syndrome is that we are alone — that no one else has a clue what we're going through. But you can be sure that there are others. Try to find a support group of sufferers or partners with the same problems in your area or on the Internet. Sometimes just being able to see, interact, and chat with others going through the same thing can be comforting and energizing.
2. Have empathy for each other.
Under stress, you might find it hard to have much patience with yourself or your partner. And you might not be able to see how giving gratitude for the blessings you do have in your life can help you endure, or even potentially turn around, your situation. But if you can at least get out of yourself enough to empathize and have some compassion for yourself, your partner, and for what you're having to deal with together, it might just be enough to help open a door or window in your perspective to let a glimmer of inspiration and understanding through. It might not seem that comforting right now, but everything does happen for a reason.
3. Balance blood sugar and biochemistry.
While addictions are often associated with dysfunctional mental problems, they invariably show up as imbalances in the body's physical chemistry — especially the body's messengers, the neurotransmitters. Addictive choices literally set up new nerve pathways that continue reinforcing the addiction, often crowding out other natural hungers (see my article "7 Reasons We're Addicted to Everything" to learn more).
Healthy eating, including reducing quick-energy carbs and balancing blood sugar with nutrient-dense vegetables and essential amino acids, can also stabilize neurotransmitters and drastically reduce cravings, according to research studies by the International Nutrition Research Center.
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