We live in a world where we are ALL addicted to something.
substances, behaviours, thoughts, ..
original performance, 44min, October 2021 Zürich CH
from and with Carina A. Stiefel and Vera Heritier
exhibition TOXIC Loveletters to addiction
and performance Addiction is Present
March 2023 Lisboa PT
Addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication caused by the use of natural or synthetic drugs.
Psychological dependence is the indomitable urge to obtain and take the substance.
At first, there is a feeling of well-being, later it is often just a matter of eliminating the feelings of discomfort that occur during withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms, depression, restlessness, panic attacks, irritability, suicidal thoughts, etc.
The addictive substances activate various messenger substances in the reward system, the limbic system, which is responsible for our behaviour, suffering and well-being. This increased release, for example dopamine, triggers good feelings in us, such as happiness or euphoria. The body gets used to the increased hormone levels, the hormonal balance shifts. The body’s hormone production decreases, which leads to a deterioration in mood. The pressure to consume the addictive substance again increases.
Dependence runs in different stages and is based on the interaction of different factors. Social environment, stress, critical life events, addiction potential of the substance, etc.
The development of dependency is a gradual process and lasts months to years. Addiction always has serious consequences for the person concerned and the social environment. Psychological problems such as depression, social withdrawal, anxiety, trauma, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, neglect, etc.
The affected person often changes their entire personality.
Addiction is still taboo. Addiction is a serious mental illness. The addicted person will do anything to continue their addiction. The person trivializes their consumption and hides their dependency. This often leads to a double life. They tend towards manipulative behavior to satisfy the dependency.
Addiction is a self-healing attempt.