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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Damian Thompson's New Book and Thoughts on Addiction

I have to get Mr. Thompson's new book, The Fix, which is on addiction in our culture. His last article, June 8th, in The Catholic Herald, mirrors the concerns of the posting below. Thompson refers to the Pope's awareness and addressing of the "destructive and divisive" temptations to addictions of all kinds.

Sexual addictions of all sorts have ruined family life. The most common cause of divorce now in the United States is addiction to pornography, a statistic from 2011. Thompson's article is on all addictions, but he also notes the great evil of pornography.

One item which I did not see in Thompson's article, but glean from statements from the Pope is that the cult of individualism leads to personal addiction, such as those of sex, computer games and drugs, as an isolated individual needs some type of interaction and gets it online or in forums. When I was in Malta last year, I discovered, by accident, an entire network of online homosexual porn, which apparently is legal. One of my Catholic friends was shocked when I explained to her that I found this just by googling and she tried to deny that Malta would allow this. Hmmm. Head in the sand syndrome does not help people with addictions. Souls are lost while the vast majority of Catholics in the pew either tolerate the evil of addictions, or pretend these are not in their families and places of work.

Another American statistic is that 60% of the populace has an addictive personality. How did this happen to a nation once of extroverts and pioneer energies? Catholicism needs to address addictions and it needs to start in the home. However, the gene pool may have something to do with this statistic, as new brain scans reveal that the addictive brain looks different than the healthy, normal brain. What comes first, the habits of addiction or the brain's proclivity to addiction, has not been proven. Siblings seem to show brain addictive tendencies, which is interesting. Are we marrying people who have addictions for some reason? Maybe the contraception culture has something to do with this trend.

Sadly, I know parents who are so tolerant that they allow their children to be involved in addictive behavior. I would not want to be one of those parents in front of God at the particular judgment.


Supertradmum said...

New Sister, there is a gremlin in your and my conversations today--another comment which was marked published vanished.

Please send weird

I do not know if Dr. Sanity has written on addictions. Her blog is like "Death by Chocolate Cake" and I can only read a bit and then ponder.

New Sister said...

I had said that my Confirmation sponsor, who is a clinical psychologist, once told me that all addictions are forms of "emotional numbing tools." She also explained to me how some addicts are totally incapable of quitting, no matter how strong their will or how many promises they make. [She had been discussing gambling addiction specifically, but I would guess that the pattern is similar with other addictions.]

I think we misuse the word "addiction," too. When young I would use the term in hyperbole - e.g., addiction to running or coffee - only to express that I like these things a lot and would find it unpleasant to give up, but not impossible. I now know that it takes external help, and God's grace, for real addicts to escape the bondage of addiction.

New Sister said...

I now recall this same sponsor confessing to me a new addiction of hers -- no kidding, she wrote me a few months back saying that she has become a "Supertradmum addict" :-) Please email us if you come through NY or D.C., dear teacher; we'd love to see you!!

Supertradmum said...

New Sister, I am honored by your comment. I have never, can you believe this, been to NYC. I was in DC in 1999 NYC has never appealed to a country girl like me, who finds herself living in London again, as I did years ago,(if only temporarily here). I do not think I shall get to NYC this year! You will have to come and see me, New Sister.

New Sister said...

NYC - you are missing out, but I can only take it in small doses myself. My fond memories are of high tea at the Saint Regis (it has no equal), a visit to the cloisters, and Holy Mass (not in that order, of course!!) I think you would like West Point, ~50 miles north. Si je me trouve soit en Angleterre ou soit en France dans les prochains mois (ce qui est bien possible), je vous en préviendrai - il me ferait très plaisir de vous connaître!

Supertradmum said...

Thank you for the invitation to NYC and yes, we could meet up elsewhere. May I suggest that we meet in Rome someday. I would like West Point. Anything is possible. Yes, placet.

New Sister said...

Be glad to! I'd make great effort to attend any sort of ceremony at the Vatican where an SSPX prelature would be officially launched. Hopefully we'd have at least 30-40 days notice of such an event; then I could arrange to make it. Happy days - I so love our Holy Father! Got real close to him once, face-to-face, on 14 March 2007 after his Wed address. One of the best days of my life- he had spoken that day of St Ignatius of Antioch, whom he called "the Father of Christian Unity". I knew in my bones that I was in the presence of a living saint. I imagine that it's a sacrifice for God to leave his beloved Joseph Ratzinger here with us, but I implore His Majesty to do so: to grant His Holiness a long and healthy life, that we may have him for many years to come. +JMJ+