Avoidance…it’s something we all do. It’s our go-to when we just don’t want to do something. But there’s avoidance of something just unpleasant and then there’s avoidance of emotions that can create distress. In this TrichStop.com webinar, Dr. Vladimir Miletic talks about emotional avoidance and how avoiding difficult emotions and memories may lead to hair pulling.
What Avoidance Is and Why We Do It
Emotional avoidance occurs when a person is unwilling to deal with certain private experiences such as body sensations, emotions, or thoughts and takes steps to alter the form or frequency of these events and the contexts in which they occur. Dr. Miletic frames this behavior as the things a person is willing to do to minimize or change their experience so they don’t have to deal with it.
We use avoidance behaviors all the time. Some are relatively benign. Others, like hair pulling, can have significant, often unintended, consequences. So, the question is, why do we avoid if we know that it causes problems?