I keep asking myself why do I keep falling for mental health professionals? It always ends in heartbreak and trauma. These people are unavailable to me in any real life sense and I always lose the relationship altogether. That is when I discovered Susan Anderson’s podcast on “Abandoholism”. Basically, some people are attracted to the unavailable. The podcast goes for 48 minutes and explains how this can turn into an addiction. I have written about addiction to narcissists and emotionally unavailable partners before here. I talk about the variable/intermittent reinforcement schedule of these people which gets us hooked more than stable, predictable love. Susan mentions this in her podcast. She also includes some other interesting research. She explains that in the abandoholic brain, the amygdala associates love with insecurity/fear of loss. She then goes onto share some research which shows that separation in a relationship creates a stronger bond, and abandoholism and trauma bonds are basically opioid addictions. This research was with mother rats and their babies. Those rats who were separated formed a closer bond than the rats who were not separated. The rats were then given Naloxone, the drug used to block opiod drugs such as heroine (what a fucked up experiment, I know). When given Naloxone, there was no difference in the bond between the rats who were separated and those not. The Naloxone had blocked the opioids leading to the bond. I believe a similar addiction can happen with self-injury.

Susan Anderson’s podcast can be purchased here.

I’m still no further in actually healing this, but I learnt a fair bit in 48 minutes.