Introduction to Addiction
Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion or need to take something such as alcohol, or do something such as gamble, to the detriment of your life or wellbeing.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion or need to take something such as alcohol, or do something such as gamble, to the detriment of your life or wellbeing. Addiction is a serious and common condition, which can take over your life and stop you from carrying out normal activities such as working, eating, or caring for others. If you think you are experiencing addiction, you are not alone. There is a great deal of help available, so please see a psychiatrist or GP.
What is Addiction caused by?
Most people engage in potentially addictive activities or use potentially addictive substances without having significant problems. The reason why some people become addicted to these enjoyable activities and others do not, is not totally understood.
It is thought that people may have genetic and psychological predispositions to becoming addicted. As they start engaging in the activity or substance, the body gets used to it, and they are urged to engage again, more often and to a greater extent. If they stop, they experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, distress and uncontrollable cravings. Their body therefore tells them to continue engaging despite it causing them problems with their health or life.
What are the symptoms of Addiction?
Addiction is most commonly associated with alcohol, drugs, nicotine and gambling. However, in reality, you can be addicted to almost anything if your urge is uncontrollable and harming your wellbeing. For example, addiction to pornography is becoming increasingly common in the population and has been covered with great interest in the media.
How is Addiction treated?
Addiction can be difficult to treat, but fortunately there is a great deal of help available. There are a number of organisations available that can help you come to terms with the condition and gain a deeper insight into the issue. Treatment is usually based upon talking therapy and possibly medication. Talking therapies involve discussing your experiences with a non-judgemental professional who will discuss your motivations, thoughts and beliefs with you. Examples of talking therapies include motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Ultimately, to beat addiction, you must feel you want to quit and that you can.