THE CAUSE OF SMOKING…and all other addictions

Most smokers assume that the cause of smoking is habit and addiction.  These are the effects, NOT the cause.

Go to my MIND MAP at Resources at, or and stare at Panel 1:  From Darkness.  Panel 1 is a metaphor for the darkness of the addiction and the dark cause of the addiction.

Addictions manifest when there is something “missing” from our ability to self sooth.  Where does this come from?  Look to the origins of self soothing–the primary relationship between you and Mother (or whoever your primary caretaker was).  Look to the period of time from birth, and through the first 3 years of life.

If there was a disconnection between you and Mother, your ability to self sooth and emotionally stabilize was compromised.  Here is why:  We learn to take in emotional nourishment from Mother early in life.  If the nourishment isn’t good enough, we get left with what I call “a hole in the soul” or a hole in the psyche.  This emotional hole needs to then fill up.  Any addiction, in this case smoking, can fill that hole and act “as if” it soothes you (even though it doesn’t–nicotine is a stimulant drug that is NOT soothing in the long run, and neither is cancer, or all the other smoking related diseases you know about for that matter!).

How is this hole in the sole created?  Mother-Child disconnect (attachment theory is the theory behind what I am talking about.  Google John Bowlby, Father of this theory if you like).  If there is a break in attachment during these critical first few years of life, emotional injury and symptoms around this injury develop–in this case smoking is the symptom, or defense mechanism used to sooth the injury.

Here is what breaks attachment and causes the emotional injury:

Depression or drug addiction in Mother.  Absent or abusive Father who lets Mother down during Post Partum Depression. Going back to work before child can form secure attachment (year 1 and 2 and also 3 are critical stay at home periods).  Leaving child with caregiver for long periods of time.  Putting infant in day care.  Taking a vacation or being absent for long periods of time.

If you want to make sure that your children won’t start smoking, give them YOU, your time, your love, and your emotional presence!

And remember, if YOU smoke, they will copy your behavior!


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