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10/05/2015 Categories: Addiction Articles

Are There Different Types Of Addiction?

Different Types Of AddictionWhen we hear the word addiction, we usually picture drugs and alcohol. While these are the usual addictions, there are also some other addictions. However, before we continue, let’s take a look at the actual definition of addiction. Addiction, according to Webster, is “a compulsive need”. This need may be habit forming and will usually involve something to excess.

Addictions will also cause withdrawal symptoms when they are stopped. The symptoms may be physical, psychological or both. Addictive behaviors will, over the course of time, alter a persons brain waves and begin to tempt the person to do things that they wouldn’t normally do.

Here are 4 of the most common addictions and some of their symptoms:

Drugs And Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol are very frightening addictions. They can be deadly the first time that they are used or they may cause death at some point after they’ve been used. Those who are struggling with either addiction (and many struggle with both alcohol and drug addictions) will need some strong therapy to overcome their addiction.

Drugs and alcohol work on the brain and change the brains chemistry. The brain releases more and more dopamine and eventually there is a short circuit. As the person comes down from their high they are miserable and will frequently self medicate to stop the withdrawal symptoms. It’s a vicious cycle and very difficult to break.

Gambling And Shopping

There are casinos and shopping malls just about everywhere. They seem innocent enough. Go in, spend some money and leave. However, for a large number of people, this simply isn’t the end of it. They must go in and spend every penny that they have. They may get nothing in return. They will go back time and again and repeat the same activities.

Over the course of time they may begin to borrow money to feed their addiction. They won’t pay their bills, they may lose their homes, they may not buy groceries for their family. Eventually, they may wind up homeless.

Sex

Many people feel the need to be loved. It doesn’t matter how much their parents loved them, it doesn’t matter how much a spouse or significant other loves them, they need more. To get it they are willing to go to any length. They will risk losing their spouse, significant other and even their children to get their fix. They crave sex and the excitement leading up to it.

Left unchecked and without rehabilitation, they may eventually contract a sexually transmitted disease. They will lose respect if they were any type of person in a powerful position. They are willing to risk it all for a moments pleasure.

Exercise

That dopamine that the brain releases when someone is drinking alcohol or using drugs is also released when someone exercises. Exercise can also become an addiction. They feel the need to work out every day often for hours on end. They seek to excel in their exercise and feel a high from the dopamine and the endorphins that are released. If they have a bad day, they exercise. If they are stressed, they exercise.

Eventually, they burn out. They feel let down and must repeat the cycle. While exercise in moderation is good for a person, it can be horrible to have to have it constantly to feel good about yourself. Most people don’t see that exercise can be an addiction, however, it is on the rise and more people are finding that it can be a high.

While taking a medication that the doctor prescribed is fine, abusing that medication is not. Drinking a drink now and again is also fine, but when it’s consistently done in excess it is a serious issue. The same goes with gambling and shopping. Sex is also on that list. Healthy couples have sex, unhealthy people feel the need for sex on a constant bases and will often seek it out in unhealthy ways exposing themselves and others to serious diseases.

In some cases, addictions can slowly sneak up on a person. This is very true of exercise and shopping. Alcohol is another one that can be sneaky. Even caffeine can sneak up on a person (that morning cup of coffee is eventually three or four cups instead of one cup). Addiction sneaks in on many levels and is a widespread. Anytime a person does something out of compulsion and even though they aren’t finding the same pleasure they are doing more of it, it is an addiction. Be mindful of what you’re doing and manage your life. If you’re having issues with an addiction, seek help and get back on track.

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