Many of our most intractable public health problems are the result of compensatory behaviors like smoking, overeating, and alcohol and drug use, which provide immediate partial relief from the emotional problems caused by traumatic childhood experiences. those experiences are generally unrecognized and become lost in time, where they are protected by shame, by secrecy, and by social taboos against exploring certain areas of human experience. A public health paradox becomes apparent wherein the public health problem is also often an unconsciously attempted solution. Not surprisingly, it is hard to give up something that almost works, particularly at the behest of someone who issues cautionary advice without any idea of what is really going on..."
Vincent J. Felitti, MD
What happens when "compensatory behaviors" become the most consistent surrogate mama - that is, a reliable soother for our distress?