Stage One is Learning which will take place on the physical level whereby it does not reach one’s conscious level until it is well entrenched to become its own source of stress. It is clearly associated with a specific behavior that creates a feeling of pleasure or relief from emotional or physical pain. The mind automatically associates the effects of the pleasure feeling with this behavior, this form of learning is known as conditioning.
Stage Two is the Habit Development, during this stage not only does one repeat the behavior for their own direct effects, but also actively seeks to increase the frequency of it as a reaction to stress or discomfort from other emotional, mental or physical areas in one’s life. This stage appears more intentional than the automatic repetitions during the learning phase, however it can still play out completely outside of one’s consciousness.
Stage Three is the Struggle, whereby the addiction has become so entrenched that the habit has become a desirous integral part of one’s life. One becomes more dependent upon the pleasurable interpersonal experience, needing it, wanting more and more of it. With this increasing desire and need in frequency, the addict’s health, toxic overload and well-being is bound to interfere with the habit sooner or later.