What is Addiction?
Addiction is being dependent on a particular activity or substance as a coping mechanism or mode of reward or motivation. There are multiple types of addiction, including drug addiction, gambling addiction, and food addiction.
Most people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol do so for one of two reasons; either they are trying to self-medicate or are seeking a way to escape from the reality of their lives. In either case, addiction is typically a way of numbing oneself to pain, emotional or physical. Some of the common addiction symptoms include:
- Addictive behavior
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol or other substance abuse
- Lack of self-control
- Lack of acceptance of addictive behavior
“When I first realized that my problem with alcohol was more than just a few beers here and there, it became regular occurrence. But the counselors at Marriage Counseling Charlotte NC saved me from ruining everything by helping to get rid of this addiction!
Josh (Charlotte NC North)
Problematic Addiction Symptoms
Addictive behavior can soon turn into compulsive acts or any repetitive behavior that a person feels they cannot control. This can include things like excessive hand-washing, hair-pulling, skin-picking, and more.
Compulsive behaviors can interfere with everyday life and cause significant distress. While compulsions are often done in an attempt to reduce anxiety or calm oneself, they ultimately end up causing more anxiety and distress.
There are many ways to identify addiction.
Some common signs of problematic addiction symptoms:
- Feeling the need to use the substance more and more often
- Failing in attempts to cut back or stop using the substance or engaging in the behavior
- Developing a tolerance to the substance or needing more of it to get the desired effect
- Letting important activities and obligations slide in favor of using the substance or engaging in the behavior
- Putting oneself or others in harmful situations while using the substance or engaging in the behavior
Do You Have an Addictive Personality?
Most of us like to think that we have control over our own lives and choices. But what if there was something inside us that made us more likely to become addicted to substances or behaviors? This is the idea of an addictive personality.
The concept of an addictive personality is controversial. Some people believe that it exists, while others think it’s a myth. And even if an addictive personality does exist, there’s no clear consensus on what it is.
Some lifestyle choices make addiction more likely. People who engage in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, are more at risk of developing an addiction. This is because they are already putting themselves in situations where addiction is more likely to occur.
Drug and alcohol dependency are among the most prevalent addictions, which must be addressed before any therapy can be effective. Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol takes a toll not just on the addict, but also on their families and friends. Addicts often need help just to get through the day, and may even require 24-hour supervision.
The most common therapies for treating addictions include:
- Motivational Interviewing Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Person-Centered Therapy
These therapies can help an individual to work on their problems with what they’re comfortable with. Many addiction therapists specialize in helping people with addictive personalities, and they can help you understand your risks and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
The first step in addiction therapy is detoxification or the removal of all traces of the addictive substance from the body. This can be a difficult and sometimes dangerous process, which is why it is best done under medical supervision.
Once the addict is detoxified, they can begin the process of rehabilitation, which may involve therapy, counseling, and support groups.
If you don't feel like you can talk to a therapist, consider reaching out to a friend or family member who can guide you better. The therapist will help the person to identify and change any self-destructive patterns of thinking and behavior.