A person suspected to be addicted to power often holds a high office or uses professional position to advance his agenda and increase the scope of influence. If the person holds an important position in the company, his decisions may influence decisions of many others, in particular of co-workers. Decisions of such person may elevate or bring somebody into disfavour. Usually these employment and work-related decisions are not based on any transparent criteria. The professional success of an addict is closely tied to euphoria, social and material status. Around such a person gather “vultures” and “hyenas” feeding them gratuity, which the addict craves. It can be for example: articles in the press, wining a contest, interesting foreign workshop, an opportunity to buy property cheaply, sex, support from an authority, invitations to meetings.
Gradually the scope of the artificial gratuities becomes wider and the decisions become less aimed at the common good and less based on the principles of good management and common sense. At this time the addict has no time for the family, children and friends, neglects own health and feels compelled to exercise power, similarly to how an alcoholic cannot give up drinking.
The addict often makes glaring mistakes in terms of interests with which, until recently, he identified himself. The mistakes contradict the previous values. Wrong decisions are accompanied with an ideology, which serves as justification. While the scope of gratuity provided by “the vultures” and “the hyenas” widens the addict gradually convinces himself that he is above the human and universal law.
Addiction to power is portrait in the 2019 movie “The Assistant” or in the cult film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. In the latter movie a psychiatric patient tries weaken the power of omniscient Nurse Ratched. The nurse is an ambitious and addicted to wielding power. The distance between her and the patients only further enables the addiction. The compulsion to exercise power often occurs in politicians, civil servants but it can appear in any other profession. Addiction to power often occurs in families with a member in prison. In prison there exist two authoritarian power structures: the administration and the inmate structure. A father is often missing in such families.
Women addicted to power
Women addicted to power have a very low level of trust, they essentially do not trust anyone. Because they are not able to open up to anybody, their intimate relationships are not satisfying. They may often change partners. Their first sexual experience is often under the influence of alcohol.
Nevertheless, intimate relationship are often the only place where the addicted woman may loosen her grasp on the world. Experience in working with women addicted to power shows that they were often victims of sexual abuse in childhood.
Woman, aged 50. Her first relationship ended with abandoning by her partner. The marriage with a man, with whom she had three children lasted short. After the divorce the woman took control over the upbringing of her children and simultaneously worked intensively. Alcohol helped her relax after the work. In her professional life she was a team leader for a long time, and with great success. The fact the she was alternating between drinking before sleep and sleeping pills was the price for her professional success. Both her children had behavioural disorders. A person addicted to power is not able to ask for help, to openly admit to not understanding something. It would mean that somebody has an advantage in the person’s territory. In the spiritual realm the addict has a distorted view of himself, often sees himself better than than reality would have it. It often involves projecting own weaknesses on the opponents and even enlarging them. Such a person often does not see own psychopathy, oppresses, sneers and laughs at others. The addict cannot be sidelined and constantly seeks people supporting own viewpoint and by doing that serving the person in various ways. The addict constantly build his own court. Power addicts rarely seek professional help, even though it is a disorder similarly to any other addictions. In the group addiction therapy “Find you own strength” we also work with this aspect of live.