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Unsatisfied Basic Needs And Addictive Behavior

Throughout our lives we have various requirements that must be met. These are our needs and our desires, which range from basic physical needs to our wants and desires. When any of these are not met emotional complications and addictions can often result, sometimes with distressful consequences. 

A need is an explicit requirement, like feeling hungry and demanding to eat or seeking assurance when you feel unloved and insecure. Satisfying a need means that it has been gratied, relieved, and discharged. Once you feel satised, your attention easily turns to something else.

The following list of needs is inspired by the work of Abraham Maslow.

Physical needs

Food, water, safety, shelter, health, basic comfort and income.


You feel secure when you feel wanted, accepted, loved, and supported by others, and are able to feel a sense of belonging.


The drive to meaningfully relate, involve, give and receive, procreate and/or experience sexual fulfilment.


You need confidence, competence, respect and power. When you feel approval, recognition and admiration from others, you naturally feel these for yourself and others. This develops the confidence needed to risk and strive. From competence and achievement, you develop assurance, poise, and power. Esteem in all these ways is fundamental to favourable development and behaviour.


This results from fullling your agreements with yourself and others. Because you carefully consider possible consequences, you are discerning in your choices and are thereby able to trust yourself.

Satisfying basic needs is primary. Without doing so, you are distracted, out of balance, and out of peace. If numerous needs are unsatisfied, then your disturbances are complicated and magnified. Your daily activities and creative processes are biased and directed toward the satisfaction of your unmet need(s). Your focus will become distracted and skewed, your life is entangled with problems, and your fulfilment will be forever compromised.

Since most people don't know how to address their unmet needs, they often turn their attention to what seems easier. And yet it never truly works because insecurities will still arise. For example, a person becomes a great singer, yet never learns how to develop or maintain healthy intimate relationships

To satisfy our basic needs a person must learn to feel the insecurity that exists due to its lack of security. Then determine the best way to effectively address it. However, often people lack the requisite trust, strength and method by which to do so. This inhibits healthy progress because they fear they will be weakened by admitting their insecurities; yet they will actually be strengthened.

The key is to identify the unsatisfied need that the negative behavior attempts to satisfy. Afterwards the next step is to replace that negative behavior with a positive equivalent. For example, returning alone to their hotel room feeling the high of a concert, the great singer might order their favourite foods, eat heartily, and then self soothes their never ending loneliness for the remainder of the evening. By instead determining that they never learned how to develop and maintain healthy relationships, they might be able to instead understand how to begin developing satisfying relationships, even while touring.

Indeed, satisfying basic needs is necessary because it provides the foundation for all else to develop, and support you to reach your optimum level of accomplishment.  Satisfying basic needs is fundamental to ensure clarity, peace, and overall well-being, and allow your full potential to be realised.


"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, but never absence of fear"

~Mark Twain ~

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