What is defined as an addiction?
An addiction is the continual and overpowering compulsion to find and use something (usually this is associated with substances) in the pursuit of pleasure, or to cover up deep seated feelings such as fear, guilt, shame, pain, hurt or anger. The actual word “addiction” is borrowed from Latin words meaning 'bound to'.
Whether that substance or 'thing' is alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sex, thoughts, another person, gambling or a behaviour. Those that are suffering with an addiction can undergo serious psychological, social and physical negative ramifications if not helped.
Addictions don't just stop at those mentioned above; sugar, caffeine, video games, and the Internet can all have that irresistible promise of pleasure or the avoidance of 'displeasure'. None of us are immune from these temptations. So what causes addiction in the first place?
It is well known that a tolerance towards 'something that can make us feel good' increases over time and with it the necessity for more and more of the same also increases, leaving the danger of addiction wide open to those more susceptible than others. This works by the brain releasing the 'feel good' chemical dopamine from the Nucleus Accumbens (the reward centre of the brain). This chemical then releases even more dopamine every time the substance or 'something' is used, resulting in an increased need for more of the same, just to reach that same 'high'.
The psychological aspects of trying to beat an addiction far out-way the physical aspects because even if you manage to use other means to satisfy the release of dopamine, such as with medication or nicotine substitutes for example, there is still the habitual part of the addiction to contend with, and this can lead to a vicious cycle, apparently inescapable for some.
Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, BWRT and life coaching are very effective in helping with the habitual side of addictions as well as the withdrawal symptoms associated.
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About Debbie Stanton
Debbie Stanton is an advanced, accredited and registered hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, GAD therapist, life coach and BWRT® practitioner, specialising in GAD, PTSD, complex issues, pain management, relationship issues and more
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