Intimacy Disorders and Addiction

Category : Getting Help

Intimacy Disorders and AddictionA person with an intimacy disorder may suffer a co-occurring issue with substance abuse or addiction. For someone with a Dual Diagnosis as this, it is extremely likely that the conditions are interrelated and stem from the same underlying issue(s).

What Is an Intimacy Disorder?

An intimacy disorder occurs when someone has difficulty trusting or opening up to others. Healthy interpersonal relationships, especially those of a romantic nature, are contingent upon a certain degree of vulnerability in both parties. To get close to someone emotionally, trust is imperative. Someone with an intimacy disorder may be incapable of trusting another person enough to share the intimacy necessary to build a marriage or partnership. He may want commitment and family very much, but be unable to trust another person enough to allow it to happen.

Addiction and Intimacy Disorders Are often Symptoms of the Same Problem

Developing an intimacy disorder is often a psychological response to a violation of trust. A history of childhood physical or sexual abuse is common among those who suffer from an intimacy disorder. This is especially true if the perpetrator was someone whom the victim trusted or was in a position of authority. A survivor of physical abuse is at increased risk of developing an intimacy disorder. However, this is not to say that everyone with an intimacy disorder endured abuse, just that a history of abuse is more common among those with intimacy disorders than among the general population.

The same factors that contribute to an intimacy disorder also put people at increased risk for developing drug abuse or addiction issues. Drug abuse is often a dysfunctional means of coping with emotional pain, and a person who develops an intimacy disorder in response to trauma is likely to seek relief through drugs or alcohol.

Just as the two conditions are interrelated, treatment should address both conditions concurrently. Receiving treatment for one issue but not the other will leave people vulnerable to relapse. However, treating both issues simultaneously will allow people to resolve their issues, which will give them a much better chance of quitting drug use and feeling secure enough to build healthy relationships.

Help Finding Treatment for an Intimacy Disorder and Addiction

Integrated treatment can help you recover from addiction, cope with your intimacy disorder and address the issues that spawned them. Treatment can help you live a drug-free life, resolve inner conflicts, feel happy and enjoy healthy interpersonal relationships. If you would like help finding integrated treatment, or if you have any questions about addiction or intimacy disorders, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.