Perhaps addiction to a specific emotion or feeling may not be what enters one’s mind when speaking to addiction. But by definition, addiction is “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something”. And that something can just as easily be to an emotion as it can be to a drug or behavior such as thrill-seeking.
When we look at addiction to sadness, we must first acknowledge that there is a difference between purposefully seeking a state of emotional sadness and the medical illness called depression. Depression is far more than an occasional case of “the blues” and should never be taken lightly by the sufferer or the support persons.
This writer would be remiss if she didn’t share two vital pieces of information regarding depression, prior to diving into sadness addiction. If you have any inkling that you are depressed, please visit the Mayo Clinic website for its “Depression Self-Assessment” test. If you feel that you’re in crisis or just need to talk, call the US National Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Readers, please do not confuse this with, or, dismiss a person who is struggling with situational, seasonal, or clinical depression.
An addiction to sadness is where one purposefully remains in an emotional state of sadness. It is no different then an addiction to drama, where one purposefully seeks out life drama and chaotic situations. Although the root causes between drama and sadness addictions are quite different. For the person addicted to sadness, it stems from an unhappy and lonely childhood where sadness was an often-felt emotion. Due to the emotional familiarity, sadness becomes that person’s evil best friend.
Signs of the sadness addict can be a person who, no matter how much positivity life brings their way, simply dismisses it and turn to negative feelings. This person may choose to listen to “lovelorn” music, even when in a solid relationship, in order to evoke sad emotions. In speaking to them you will find that any conversation will turn to the negative aspect of whatever you may be discussing. The sadness addict literally feels safe to stay within the “comfort” of their sadness because it is a familiar place to be. Have you identified yourself or someone close to you?
This writer is not a clinician and does not dole out medical advice, just life observation. For the sadness addict, eventually as with any addiction, there is a price to pay. Left untreated by a legitimate specialist, the sadness addict will inevitably lose friends, relationships, and fail to grow to a healthy emotional state. Again, sadness addiction is not to be confused with or compared to depression.
*Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included in this article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider.
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This author writes other columns. To view other topics from this author, visit the author’s page. ©2013 Yvonne P. Mazzulo, All rights reserved. Connect with Yvonne P. Mazzulo on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.