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Addicted to pain...


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How do I break myself of my addiction to the pain I experience by picking the wrong guys? I already know that I have a self-defeating personality disorder (concerning relationships that means that I associate pain with love.) but I've also come to realize that I'm addicted to the pain caused by wanting someone who either just flat out hurts me or is unavailable. I don't like the pain. I really don't. But I can't seem to get enough of it. And the more this person hurts me the more I want them. How can I make myself attracted to the ones who will treat me right? How does someone break an addiction of this kind?

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By associating the pain that you are attracted to, with the heartbreak that inevitably follows - and not associating it with "I want him more!".


Get out and meet 'good guys'. Who are available, and able to commit themselves to a relationship.


It's about retraining your thoughts - to stop you thinking pain=what you want.


You can meet an interesting, good, honest, available man. Really...

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The only way to get rid of it is to see it for what it really is. What does this pain allow you to become? A victim? What makes you like being a victim- the feeling of giving up because of the outside world? You dont want self control. You push it away. So seeing that, take little steps to try and control the world around you. List traits you want in your next relationship and raise the bar. Dont settle for less.


Heartbreak does not define you. You need to decide who you are and how you are going to live it out. Write it down- even list methods. Everything helps. But not being a good lover or person or whatever is what is causing you grief. Remember that and that you can have control- that you should

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How can I make myself attracted to the ones who will treat me right? How does someone break an addiction of this kind?


It sounds like this issue is ultimately a self-esteem issue. You must truly believe that you WORTHY and DESERVING of a partner who will treat you well. If you don't believe that, then you will keep looking for people (subconsciously and even consciously) that will hurt you.


I think the best way to deal with this is to spend some time alone (not in any kind of relationship) and work on your self-esteem either through counseling or self-help.



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How do I break myself of my addiction to the pain I experience by picking the wrong guys?



How does someone break an addiction of this kind?


I like Dr. Phil's suggestion for breaking addictions. I can't remember his exact words, but he says you can't just "break" an addiction by just thinking logically about it, or by willing it. You can only break addictive behavior by REPLACING that behavior with an INCOMPATIBLE behavior. In your case you already seem to recognize the problem, that you associate pain with love. So the next thing might be to find ways to thwart yourself when presented with the opportunity to "indulge" in addictive behavior. You have to counter that compulsion with another healthy behavior that is totally incompatible with the addictive one. It might take some thought to figure out what an incompatible healthy behavior might be. But when you find it, it really does help a lot in this process. It might also help to even make a list of some things to do that would totally interfere with your ability to do your usual addictive behavior. When you feel weak, pull out your list and choose something else to do instead. And if you have some friends who would be willing to support you, tell them what you're trying to do, and reach out to them for their help to regain perspective whenever you feel tempted.


Hope this helps.

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Very good advice. also, you might want to check out this book it's pretty old but my therapist gave it to me. it's call "How To Break your Addiction to a Person" by Howard M Halpern. it's really a great book. i too have that problem but have found ways to replace my behavior with positive things to do. read this book it helps. also, do not keep telling yourself you have a disorder. i have found that it doesn't help your mental state and thereforeeee, it justifies your addictive behavior. when you can justify your behavior you will always think that you cannot control it which in turn makes it "ok" to act on your compulsions.


take it from me, if you can recognize this in yourself then you have made a huge 1st step.




***** 'You Are Not Your Uncontrollable Reactions"

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Are you certain that you have a personality disorder? Has it been diagnosed? Have you sought therapy for it? It seems to me that if you do have a personality disorder, best to deal with that first before trying to form and maintain relationships.


I was diagnosed with it a year ago.


Thanks everyone for the responses. This problem just makes me feel so empty. I feel as if it's hopeless to change this. I see it as being the same as your favorite color for example. I can't help that my favorite color is red. I can't help that I'm turned on by guys that treat me like crap. Make sense??? I really don't want to be alone. But sometimes I feel that it's probably best that I remain alone for the rest of my life. And it's all because of this. I'll get that book. (Thanks for the suggestion, by the way.) I know that I probably shouldn't be saying this but I just don't see how it's possible to eradicate this problem. I like red. lol. NOTHING can ever change that... I want to be treated right. I want to be loved. But I want to want the person that's treating me right and loving me. I just can't see those guys as being any more than a friend to me.

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  • 4 years later...

I found this blog very helpful. Empathy, thank you for posting and starting this dialogue.


Part of the behavior of bad relationships is feeling the addiction to feel bad altogether. It's really difficult to break the cycle, but the whole idea is a relationship gives that reinforcement and strange pleasure of pain, say it is through the negative attention you receive. The emotion of feeling bad is what is addictive, so to say you feel hopeless to change it is just another way to continue to feel bad. Some one said above, "it justifies your addictive behavior". That applies to a lot more areas than you probably recognize right now. visit: link removed


I have been at a similar point most of my life, and I'm just starting to make the change. I'm too old for the emotional drama this addiction to pain in my love life is causing me. I'm also passing up really great men at this point in my life for one who treats me badly. Everyone in my life sees it but me. I am also too talented and have way to much to offer the world to spend the rest of my life feeling bad.


It's a hard addiction to get through, because it is so subtle and interwoven into the patterns of our lives and relationship. One day you might wake up and see how you feel pain about most everything, and the attention that you seek. You're beautiful and a gift to this world, and your life is a gift. Being able to express yourself is a beautiful thing. It way more pleasurable and healthy than what is happening now.


My advice is to not let it go to a destructive point that you have to make a change. Try, atleast try, now to do something for yourself to overcome this addiction to sorrow, emptiness, hopeless, etc. You have a lot of living to do, so make sure you stay true to your course to resolve this issue.


Have faith in yourself. It's the best medicine.

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