Repetition Compulsion

The term Repetition Compulsion was first coined by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the father of psychotherapy. The term is defined as a physical addiction to drama, stress, unhealthy situations or the re-enactment of victimization. In an updated 1989 summary, Dr. Bessel A. VanDerKock wrote an excellent study in his “The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma.” That many traumatized people expose themselves, seemingly compulsively, to situations similar to the original trauma. Re-enactment of victimization is a large cause of violence. Criminals have often been physically or sexually abused as children. Self-destructive acts are common in abused children. Family violence also has a direct relationship between childhood physical abuse and later marital violence.

Do Unto Others

Some traumatized people remain preoccupied with the trauma and continue to re-create it in some form for themselves or for others. War veterans may enlist as mercenaries. Incest victims may become prostitutes. Others identify with the aggressor and do to others what was done to them.

The observation can often be made that victims can become addicted to their victimizers. And often, the victim and the victimizer are addicted to each other.

Pain Perception

High levels of stress also activate Opioid Systems. Studies show that seven out of eight Vietnam veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) showed a 30 percent reduction in perception of pain when viewing a movie depicting combat in Vietnam. This is the equivalent of an injection of 8mg of morphine.

Trauma High

This addiction is actually biochemical in nature. The body has natural “Opioid Systems” that release the same chemicals as heroin or morphine. When people engage in Repetition Compulsion of their traumas, they are actually getting “high.” This is dangerously addictive, causing full-body pain-relief called Stress Induced Analgesia (SIA).

Depending on which stimuli have been allowed to condition an Opioid Response, self-destructive behavior may include chronic involvement with abusive partners, sexual masochism, self-starvation and violence against oneself or others.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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