Addiction is an extremely broad term. You can be addicted to a variety of substances, behaviors, and activities. Some addictions can be understood easier than others, but in the end, it is still an addiction. How do you feel about your habits?
You can be addicted to almost anything. The more commonly heard about addictions include drugs and alcohol. Substances such as booze, heroin, cocaine, prescription medications, meth, or crack. These drugs and alcohol take over the brain and body and you are left with a compulsive need to continue using. An addict will continue using no matter what the negative consequences. There are also activities and behavioral addictions. Addictions like gambling, sex, porn, shopping, the internet, binge-watching television. We all have little things we do sometimes that we know we shouldn’t do. Whether it be binge-watching your favorite TV show instead of getting work done on time or going to the bar when you know you should be going home.
The question becomes are you simply overindulging or beginning to hurt you and those around you? There are a few questions you should ask yourself if you feel like you are losing control in certain areas of your life.
- Do you feel guilty about your substance abuse or behaviors?
- How often are you engaging in these indulgences?
- Is your substance abuse or other activities affecting your life, loved ones, or your work?
There is more to addiction than the commonly visualized person lying in an alleyway with a pipe in their hand or a needle in their arm. Addiction is a mental illness and takes many forms. It can be a college kid that took Adderall to help study but now can not get any work done without it. Abusing prescription medications is a big problem because it does not look like what we imagine a general addiction would look like. Sometimes, a gambling addiction can clean out a bank account quicker than substance addiction. What this comes down to is that we as humans seek out things that make us feel good. That includes things like exercising or having a great meal. Our brains are wired to seek positive experiences because it feels rewarding. This becomes a problem when it becomes compulsory. The brain can become rewired to continuously seek out that good and rewarding feeling and you can find yourself sneaking to the casino at lunch. These are all examples, but this happens. In most cases, it is never the intention to become addicted to a substance, activity, or behavior.
We are all individuals. So, addictions are as individualized as we are. There is help for any form of addiction. There are other people struggling with the same or similar issues. There always has been. Help is as individualized as we are, as well. There are so many different programs because there are so many other people out there struggling and looking for others to relate to. Addictions leave people with extremely isolated feelings. Addicts can feel so alone, but part of treating addiction is reaching out for help and seeking out others that can understand or relate to what you are feeling or doing.
So, besides the most ‘common addictions’, is there something you are doing in your life that is troubling you? Reach out. Ask questions. Do some research. You are not stuck in the day-to-day that you have created. There will always be changes in life. Just Believe that you can make a decision as to what that change will be. Make it a good one.
Call anytime. These specialists can answer the questions you have.