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  • Writer's pictureMartin Polanco

Antisocial Behavior and Addiction

Originally posted April 22, 2017

There is a strong connection between antisocial tendencies and addiction. Not only are people who are antisocial more prone to addiction, but addiction can also lead to antisocial behavior. Social withdrawal is more common than many people realize. There are a lot of people who are “antisocial”, preferring to spend time alone than in the company of others. Those who spend increasing amounts of time alone, and prefer to be socially isolated, have often experienced traumatic events in their life that lead them to withdrawal from social situations and interaction with others.

What is Social Isolation and Antisocial Behavior?

While spending time alone is healthy, spending undue amounts of time alone isn’t. There’s a big difference between an introverted person (who enjoy their time alone and feel drained when spending too much time with others) and a person who isolates themselves socially.

Social withdrawal in the form of isolation can lead to extreme cases of antisocial behavior. When a person socially isolates themselves, they might spend days alone at a time and avoid contact with others. Any interaction with others is most often fleeting and meaningless, with close relationships with friends and family tending to become nonexistent.

Social isolation and antisocial behavior is quite often something that develops over time. A person doesn’t just decide to become antisocial one day. Once they do, however, this behavior tends to endure in a person for a long time. Antisocial behavior and social isolation are often a result of shame, depression, insecurity, social anxiety, and fear of abandonment.

The very causes of antisocial behavior are extremely similar to the reasons people become addicted to drugs or alcohol. The depression, anxiety, and insecurity that are common amongst people who isolate themselves socially are all common traits in people that tend to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The Close Connection of Antisocial Behavior and Addiction

While not everyone who is antisocial will develop an addiction, those who tend to withdrawal socially are more likely to develop addictive behavior. When a person who spends extended amounts of time alone starts to experiment with drugs or alcohol they might find that it makes them feel better. The anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem can become masked and seem like less of an issue. Drugs or alcohol end up becoming the solution to their negative feelings and emotions.

These false feelings of wellbeing that the alcohol or drugs offer can easily turn into a mental obsession. This compulsion towards drugs or alcohol as the solution to the reasons for a person’s antisocial behavior can easily turn into addiction once the person stops using and finds they simply feel worse.

How Addiction Encourages Antisocial Behavior

Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol—whether a person has antisocial tendencies or not. Addiction is something that often stems from pain, whether a person is conscious of this pain or not. Not everyone who becomes an addict is always antisocial. Once a person becomes an addict, however, they’ll often find their addiction encourages their antisocial behavior.

Anyone who has suffered from addiction knows the myriad of emotions that go with it. Being an addict is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. One moment the person is feeling great, and the next they can be falling into a downward spiral. Addiction can leave a person an emotional mess and suffering from extreme anxiety or depression.

These feelings, that are very similar to those of antisocial behavior, can lead to the addict socially isolating themselves. Social withdrawal is common amongst addicts. The feelings of worthlessness, shame, and guilt can lead to a person spending increased amounts of time alone. Addiction can also lead to failing relationships, which can cause a person to seek socially isolation.

Overcoming Antisocial Behavior and Addiction

Overcoming both antisocial behavior and addiction is possible when a person can address the reasons behind these behaviors. Treatments like ibogaine and other psychedelic holistic healing methods have an innate ability to help a person uncover the reasons behind their antisocial and addictive behavior. No matter which behavior caused the other, the reasons behind the two are often the same.

Uncovering memories and traumas that have led to a person’s current reality can help them overcome the issues with isolation and addiction they face. Not only do substances such as ibogaine and ayahuasca help a person realize the reasons behind their behaviors, but can also help tremendously in overcoming them. These plant medicines have a unique way of helping a person heal and move past the traumas and memories that have led to their current state of emotional pain.

No one deserves to live life isolated because of trauma that has caused negative feelings. And no one deserves to live with an addiction or feel isolated because of it. There are natural healing methods to help a person break the cycles of their pain and embrace the life they want to be living.

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