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Frustrated and Powerless

January 28, 2015

Image 2Recently I went to a workshop on addiction and the brain. The presenter, Kevin McCauley MD, was fantastic and I felt a little zing of excitement when he confirmed my suspicions by listing “relationships”and “other people” under addictive behaviors. These were listed because people receive a dopamine rush in their brain associated with the drama of bad relationships much like the rush people get when addicted to a substance.

Think about when things are going well in a toxic friendship. You feel excited, euphoric, and energized but when things are going badly your cortisol starts pumping and you may feel upset, guilty, anxious, scared, and possibly angry. So, you seek relief. You behave in ways that are erratic (repeated attempts at making contact, pleading, getting angry, or giving in to ridiculous demands), your decision making becomes impaired (because your brain is so wrapped up in getting it’s good feeling back), and you can’t seem to focus or function or make sense of anything until the relationship is back on track.

You might feel frustrated and powerless to the addictive cycle of your relationship. It may be negatively impacting your other relationships, your job performance, and many areas of your life. Though, like a true addict it’s hard to step back and have insight to the dysfunctional pattern of the relationship because your brain is craving the rush and you keep telling yourself that you just need . . . one . . . more . . . fix.

13 Comments
  1. Love your blog, Kate! This post was particularly well written. 🙂

    Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:40:03 +0000 To: amylmurray01@hotmail.com

  2. Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:
    This post brings up a very interesting point about toxic relationships being addictive!! I have never thought about this before. Thought provoking…

    • Thank you for your comment and for the re-post. I haven’t blogged in awhile and you have inspired me to get back to it. I look forward to checking out your blog! Kate

      • You are welcome and I am glad I played a part to encourage you to begin again! Check out the Meet and Greet I am offering this weekend. Great way to meet others!

  3. Hi,
    I met you on Danny Ray’s site. I like how you combined medicine and relationships. Nice to meet you.
    Janice

  4. Interesting. Now I know why I do some things 🙂

  5. This was a very good post that makes one really think. Very thought provoking like Danny said.

  6. OMG! How did you know I had received that latest phone call from my mother-in-law.

    Someone strike me down now so that I can be put out of my misery. 😖

    • Thank you for your comment! Sounds like you’ve got your hands full. My posts on “manipulated,” “Emotional and Verbal Abuse,” and “Stressed,” might hit home for you. I look forward to checking our your blog! -Kate

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