Feelings of Addiction?
Sometimes your love for something turns into an addiction. What begins so innocently becomes an insatiable craving you have no control over. You feel desperate to take your life back and overcome the irrepressible urges and desires you are unable to resist.
An addiction runs your life. Drug addiction is the most common in society but other forms of dependencies keep sprouting up in society depending on emerging issues and introduction of new lifestyle habits – which some members of society take on with too much fervor and in the process get addicted.
What is Addiction?
One addiction definition states that it is a condition that arises when a person engages in an activity or ingests any substance that causes pleasure. The person continues using the substance or engaging in the activity until it becomes compulsive and gets in the way of performing ordinary life activities such as work and personal responsibilities. Unfortunately, the addicted person may be in denial or lack awareness of his or her state.
What Causes Addiction?
Most addictions start as a response to the emotional turmoil caused by conflict, pressure, or stress. However, experts talk of an addictive personality which comprises possession of a set of traits which predispose you to develop some types of addictions. The characteristics include:
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling stressed and anxious
- Mood instability
- Lack of commitment to personal values and goals
- Loneliness and withdrawal
- Inability to control compulsive habits
Types of Addiction
Addiction or compulsive behavior ranges between physical and behavioral tendencies. Substance or drug addiction is a situation where you use more than you should or is healthy, or you persist in using the substance regardless of the negative consequences. You might feel like you cannot stop.
Physical addiction is when your body develops tolerance to drugs to an extent you cannot perform any activity or feel normal without ingesting the substance. As you take higher amounts to achieve this false stability, you are hooked, and eventually, you switch to drugs that are more potent or opt for cocktails involving two or more types.
Behavioral addictions include engaging in activities like viewing porn, gambling, texting, playing sports, using the internet, playing video games, having sex, and food addiction. Such begin as innocent and fun pastimes but over time, they become an avenue to pursue rewards – such as money from gambling. Afterwards, you may find it hard to disengage from the activity, and the effects begin to take a toll on you.
Effects of Addiction
Addicts get a lot of satisfaction from indulging in something they are addicted to. This is because the addictive substance or act stimulates the pleasure center in their brain. Neurotransmitters such as GABA and dopamine produce such a good feeling that you will want to achieve it again despite any adverse effects. As you chase that awesome feeling, addiction gradually sets in.
More interesting is the fact that an addictive act or substance evokes a different feeling inside the mind of a non-addict. Non-addicts experience a mild high unlike the addicts, so they fail to understand the obsession the addict has with the stimulant.
Drug Addiction Test
For you to determine whether you are an addict, answer the following questions:
- Have you thought about or made any effort to cut down on substance use or behavior?
- Have you continued in the practice or use even after noticing adverse effects?
- Have you noticed any withdrawal symptoms as you attempt to stop the behavior or use?
- Do you experience regret due to limited control over your compulsion?
- Are you using more of the drug or spending more time and resources on the behavior over time?
- Do you spend substantial amounts of time using, planning, concealing, obtaining, and recovering from the drug or behavior?
The answers you give will help you to know whether or not you have an addiction.
Finding the proper cure for any addiction involves a treatment plan that begins by establishing the cause of the habit. The fundamental principle on remedies states that efficient recovery from an addiction does not rely on stoppage of the habit, but in developing a new lifestyle which makes it easier to take charge of your life and to cope without the solace offered by the habit.
Being honest with yourself about what is really going on within is the first step to making a change. Acknowledge that this behavior, thought, activity or substance (including food) is controlling you.
Decide and make a commitment that you are complete with giving your power or self away and find the support to help you be accountable to following through with your new decision and New Life.
Additionally, addictive behavior is not about your moral principles or character, but a disease. Consider the following tips in developing a healthier lifestyle and values to resist temptations:
To identify high-risk situations, take note of the acronym HALT:
Under the above circumstances, you are most likely to succumb. A combination of these conditions comes up at the end of the day when you are tired, hungry, possibly angry or frustrated, and fatigued. Guard yourself by taking note of these other factors that together with HALT create high-risk situations:
- Places: being in places where you usually access or engage in the act
- People: spending time in the company of individuals who practice the behavior
- Things: seeing or using things which trigger memories of the time you engaged in the habit
Be Honest – An addiction feeds on lies. You lie to indulge in the habit, to get your next fix, and even when a relapse occurs. Eventually, you lie to yourself about your condition and start living a lie. As you take cognizance of your deceptive ways, you develop self-loathing and engage in the addictive act as a form of escapism.
Find Healthy Ways Of Relaxing – People use drugs and engage in other bad habits as a way of relieving tension, escaping from an overwhelming reality, or to earn rewards. It’s imperative that you plan positive relaxation methods such as physical exercises, meditation, or socializing as a replacement for coping, escaping, or rewarding yourself with drugs or addictive habits.
Know When to Stop – Sometimes, there is a thin line between enjoyment and risk, a hobby and an addiction. Take some time to understand how your favorite pastime is now a source of inner conflict or how much it interferes with your everyday duties and activities.
If others point it out to you, or you acknowledge you have a problem, find a reputable therapist and start a treatment plan. Make an effort to practice moderation and self-control to avoid falling into this vicious cycle.
Sometimes when addictions are all-consuming you may need to get support on a 24 hour basis. Speak to a professional to help you know what the best pathway is for you!
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.