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Addicted to Unhappiness

Addicted to Unhappiness is based on the Piepers' clinical research into the nature of children's love for their parents and the way in which it fosters an unrecognized "addiction" to unhappiness that follows them into adulthood. In their work with hundreds of children and adults, the Piepers discovered that when discipline and excessive expectations are imposed on young children, they learn to equate feelings of unhappiness with loving relationships. This misidentification persists into adulthood and explains why so many adults create unhappiness in the process of seeking happiness and love. This unrecognized self-sabotage is the explanation for diverse yet common problems such as overspending, fear of new situations, romantic choices that break hearts, and career mishaps. Addicted to Unhappiness offers a plan for life that helps readers understand their secret need to be unhappy, overcome it, and reclaim the happiness that is their true birthright. In the process, they will learn to conquer health problems including destructive moods, overeating and lack of exercise; build strong, lasting relationships; and achieve career satisfaction and success. Like the best selling Toxic Parents (Forward) and Necessary Losses (Viorst), Addicted to Unhappiness shows readers that the effects of their childhood experiences live on to affect them as adults. Unlike Toxic Parents, however, the Piepers do not blame parents or encourage readers to engage in aggressive confrontations with them, taking instead an enlightened, understanding approach. Unlike Necessary Losses, Addicted to Unhappiness does not suggest that frequent bouts of inner happiness are normal and inevitable. Instead, it offers readers a well-founded optimism, based on research, that the birthright of every person is an inner happiness that can remain stable in the face of the ups and downs of everyday life. Addicted to Unhappiness includes illustrative case examples drawn from the authors' own practice, general guidelines, self-assessment exercises and concrete, practical steps for achieving change - all in the context of a life plan for inner happiness.
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About the Author

Martha H. Pieper, Ph.D., and William J. Pieper, M.D. (Chicago, IL) coauthored the bestselling Smart Love. They have been in private practice for more than 25 years. Both have pursued clinical research at the University of Chicago and other prestigious academic and professional institutions.

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