Existentialism and Addiction : Anxious of death, lack of meaning of life and feeling of mental resilience in people with addictions.

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:2943485 16 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Αντιμετώπιση Εξαρτήσεων-Εξαρτησιολογία
Library of the School of Health Sciences
Deposit date:
Vatikioti Chrysoula
Supervisors info:
Παπαρρηγόπουλος Θωμάς ,Καθηγητής, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Μαλλιώρη Μένη, Καθηγήτρια, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Τριανταφύλλου Καλλιόπη, Επιστημονική Συνεργάτις Ιατρικής Σχολής, ΕΚΠΑ
Original Title:
Υπαρξισμός και Εθισμός : Άγχος θανάτου, απουσία νοήματος ζωής και αίσθημα ψυχικής ανθεκτικότητας σε άτομα με εθισμούς.
Translated title:
Existentialism and Addiction : Anxious of death, lack of meaning of life and feeling of mental resilience in people with addictions.
Introduction: There is a perception in the collective consciousness that addiction is mainly the result of heredity, the moral weakness of the individual, the loss of strength of will, the inability to face the world, a form of mental illness, the manifestation as a social phenomenon that demonstrates its pathogenesis. society, in general.
The purpose of this study, based on the perspective of the Existential Psychotherapeutic Approach, is to highlight that addiction at the first level is the way a person chooses to find temporary relief from the stress caused by the ontological data of his existence: the absence of meaning, the inevitable death, his condemnation to freedom, existential loneliness and personal responsibility towards choices and life (du Plessis, 2019). More specifically, it is to investigate the incidence of various behavioral addictions and alcohol addiction in a sample of convenience of the general population and whether these addictions are associated with death anxiety, lack of meaning in life and the degree of mental resilience as a protective factor.

Methodology: The survey involved 3,570 people (3,176 women, 394 men) of the general population. Participants completed five questionnaires through a special online platform: The Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire (SPQ), an addiction research and evaluation questionnaire (Christo et al., 2003), by Dr. Robert Lefever and colleagues from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom (1988), the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), (Steger et al., 2006. Stalikas, Triliva & Roussi, 2012. Bika, 2019), the Connor - Davidson Resilience Scale (CD - RISC) Questionnaire for Measuring Mental Endurance (Connor & Davidson, 2003; Bika, 2019) and the Templer Death Anxiety Scale ('s) 1970). Some demographic questions have also been added. The statistical program SPSS 22.0 was used for the analysis.

Results: The 1st research question studied the emergence of various behavioral addictions (product purchases, sex, gambling and betting, food) and alcohol addiction in a sample of convenience of the general population. The results show that all the correlations between the dimensions of the addiction scale were significant and positive. That is, the more addicted they were to one sector, the more addicted they were to everyone else.
The second research question explored the possible existence of a correlation between death anxiety, lack of meaning of life and mental resilience in people with substance and behavioral addictions. Statistical analysis of the data showed a significant positive correlation between the "Search for meaning of life" dimension and all dimensions of addictions as well as higher values on the death anxiety scale that were significantly associated with higher levels of gambling addiction, product markets and food consumption.
The 3rd research question explored whether mental resilience is negatively correlated with levels of addiction. The results demonstrate mental resilience as a protective factor as its higher values are associated with significantly lower levels of addiction. The exception are the correlations of the gambling addiction dimension and bets that were positively related to the dimensions "Spiritual type influences" and "Personal competence, high standards and perseverance" as well as the dimension of addiction in the product markets that was also positively related to the dimension "Spiritual type influences".

Conclusions: The results confirmed the study's research hypotheses. They are also in the same direction as results of other surveys. The results are particularly useful because they offer both the scientific and therapeutic community a better picture of the prevalence of various addictions in the Greek general population. At the same time, they highlight the usefulness of the Existential Psychotherapeutic Approach to the understanding, interpretation and treatment of various addictions, enrich the field of knowledge with new topics to be processed related to the development of addictions, contribute to a better understanding of the psyche of people with addictions and encourage health professionals working in therapeutic rehabilitation programs and psychotherapeutic frameworks in general , turn their attention to strengthening mental resilience as a (possibly) protective factor against addictions.
Main subject category:
Health Sciences
Existentialism, Addiction, Death Anxiety, Meaning of Life, Mental Resilience
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