Addiction - Surprise!
Is one addiction worse than the other?
When you read the word addiction what do you think? What Image do you see forming in your mind?
The word addiction is very subjective and carries with it a variety of possible descriptions. It could be of a drug addict, or maybe a gambler, but a common aspect to all addiction is that they sufferers tend to waste resources with activities that are not essential for living.
Addictions can begin as an activity that is fun and novel, exciting, or social, entertaining or otherwise rewarding. Over time, the activity may become more regular, or even as part of an essential aspect of life such as work; perhaps the bug of winning a game of chance a few times gives the gambler a sense of control and increased predictability, maybe a smoke screen of skill emerges.
Remember, money or a fix is not necessary for addictive qualities to take hold. Sure, a financial reward or a degree of chemical escapism may in the short-term preoccupy and put off the the longer-term issues, but simple games and sports can be just as addictive. A famous psychologist called B.F.Skinner did some interesting experiments looking at the behaviour of mice. He set up one experiment where if the mouse pressed the lever some food would be dispensed into its bowl, and he showed how the mice would associate the pressing of the lever with food and be able to feed itself. In this instance the mouse would only press the lever when it wanted to feed itself. However, in another experiment Skinner calibrated the dispenser to deliver food after random presses of the lever. This meant that sometimes a nibble would be released after two presses of the lever, or maybe five presses, or three, or even 10. The result was startling, he found that the mouse would be fixated on the lever and press it over and over again without concern whether it had enough food.
Interestingly this is the same principle in which slot machines and addictive computer games like 'Candy Crush' work. The element of reward and chance create the nuisance of addiction. I'm a cricketer, and I know how addicted I can become when bowling at batsmen. It's the same principle, no matter how good I get, the batsmen will always bring in an element of unpredictability - but when the reward comes, and I bowl them out it's a fantastic feeling. Like some people don't understand how cricket fans can listen to test match special all day, or how others can be addicted to the unpredictable story line of Coronation Street or Breaking Bad, another can be equally addicted to something different.
Some of these addictions are not that problematic - in fact they are like how most addictions begin, interesting, novel, fun, rewarding, and unpredictable. However an addiction becomes a problem when it begins to impact on important aspects of a persons life like their health, family and friends and work.
Addictions can be broken down, interrupted and worked through. There are plenty of articles on this website that can give you an idea of how hypnotherapy might be able to help you. I would argue that a mixed approach of behavioural, cognitive and hypnotherapeutic works well. To an extent, one approach can bring about benefits, however, different aspects of an individuals addiction is likely to respond better to a slightly different approach. Hypno-psychotherapists are trained in hypnosis and integrative psychotherapy and this means a practitioner is qualified to provide a dynamic and individual experience to changing annoying behaviours that waste all this money, time, relationships and health.
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