CHAOS THEORY: Are You Addicted to Drama?

Are you addicted to drama?

Do you know someone whose life is in a constant state of chaos?  For whom everything is a crisis.

Perhaps this is you?

Chaos addicts are more common than you think.

Signs You’re Addicted to Drama

  • You love to gossip.
  • You hate when you’re not the centre of attention.
  • You’re always late.
  • You’re always fighting with someone.
  • You overshare on social media.
  • You yell and scream to make your point.
  • You’re always sticking your nose in other people’s business.
  • You end or threaten to end relationships often.
  • You like to stir the pot.

Why are we addicted to drama?  What is the benefit?

The obvious answer is, drama gets attention.  However, the truth is a little more complicated.

All humans need attention.  Getting and giving attention is paramount to a social species, without it the quality and sustainability of life is threatened.  Excessive attention seeking is driven by emotional desperation and is often the result of early developmental trauma caused by abuse or neglect.

In addition to attention, an addiction to drama is precipitated by the release of pain-suppressing endorphins and pleasure-inducing dopamine.  Similar to heroin and other opiates, drama eases a person’s anxiety and makes us feel good.  But like any addiction, we can build up a tolerance that requires ever-increasing amounts to get the same results.  In the case of drama, this means more chaos to get the same positive validation.

It’s not easy to overcome an addiction, including drama.  It’s hard to let go of something that gives us pleasure and comfort.  But by learning to recognize what is driving our dramatic behaviour we can apply strategies to change our actions and stop the chaos.

Try these tips for avoiding drama in your life:

Stay Away from Gossip – The easiest way to remove drama from your life is to stop the gossip.  By engaging in gossip you’re participating in an act that serves no other purpose than to embarrass or demean another person. Treat others with the respect you expect for yourself.

Avoid Negative Thinking – Negative thinking fuels chaos.  If negative situations seem to surround you, try changing your perspective.  By filtering your negative thoughts and emotions and using positive energy in your interactions, you’ll draw more positive results.

Redirect Your Energy – Instead of investing your energy in emotional mayhem, channel your energy toward more positive, uplifting experiences.  Express yourself through creative or athletic pursuits that offer reward for your focused energy and release from emotional distress.

Mind Your Own Business – Stop meddling in other people’s personal affairs, even when asked.  Entangling yourself with personal dramas that don’t affect you can be hurtful to the parties involved and damaging to your relationship.  You will be happier and earn more respect from your peers when you can mind your own business.

Let Go of Unhealthy Relationships – If you find yourself spending time with people who are often angry, miserable, critical, or who just like stirring up trouble, you will emulate these behaviours.  Friendships can help lift you up or bring you down. Surround yourself with those that bring positivity into your life and say goodbye to those who create chaos.

Leave the Past in the Past – Emotional wounds from the past can create a life of chaos and misery. Making peace with your past and re-evaluating your learned behaviour and the preconceived notions that you have of yourself and others, can help you make healthier choices in the present.

Unplug – Smartphone technology and 24/7 access to social media have made us all more prone to drama.  A need for attention and the fear of missing out can cause us to seek constant validation from others and engage in inappropriate behaviour online. Unplugging from technology or taking a break from social media will help quiet the chaos it creates.

 

If dramatic behaviour is impacting your life in negative ways, or you just want to change your attitude towards yourself and others, a good mental health professional can help you learn to ditch the drama. To find a therapist in your area, visit Psychology Today’s website www.psychologytoday.com.

 

The Farm Rehab is a private, residential rehab facility located in Stouffville, Ontario.  If you or someone you love is living with addiction, call us at 1-877-353-2777 to begin the journey of recovery today.

 

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