Addiction to anything is the dependence on a particular substance or engaging in a behavior even though it is causing physical and psychological harm. The need for dependence on the substance is so strong that it causes behavioral modifications in an individual. When the need worsens that it interrupts with our wellbeing, it can develop in substance use and substance abuse disorder. Addiction can lead to various negative consequences which not only impact you but the people around you too. It is important that you counter this addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
· Loss of interest in day-to-day activities
· Decline in performance at school/work
· Poor hygiene, isolation, difficulties in maintaining proper relationships
· Extreme dependence on a particular substance like alcohol, smoking etc.
· Dependence characterized by impulsivity
· Dependence leading to risky behaviors such as crimes, physical violence etc.
· Short term memory loss
· Disturbance in food and sleep patterns
· Profound change in behaviour, appearance, loss of weight, poor hygiene, becoming defensive.
Types of Addiction
There are two main types of addiction,
1. Chemical Addiction-
This type of addiction involves use of substances.
‘Addicted substances’ such as alcohol, opioids, including both heroin as well as prescription pain medication like oxycodone and morphine. Other drugs like Cannabis, nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine.
2. Behavioral Addiction-
This type of addiction involves compulsive behavior that bring Rewards to an individual. This reward is known as ‘natural reward’ as they do not involve any negative consequences to mental, physical and social well-being. On contrary this can harm one’s financial well-being if it is related specifically to ‘shopping.’
Behavior that comes under this addiction is shopping, exercise, sex, TV, or social media.
Myths and Facts
Myth- One of the worst habits is known as Addiction that results in weakness and overindulgence.
Fact- Addiction of any form can be chronic or a life-threatening condition like as it has roots in genetic susceptibility, social circumstance and personal behavior.
Myth- Addiction comes from lack of willpower, if a person has enough determination, he/she can stop abusing alcohol and other drugs. After all no one can force someone to use a substance.
Fact- Addicted people cannot simply put a stop on their consumption of a substance no matter how strong they are from their inner resolve as it affects directly our brain nerves due to which cravings cannot be controlled after some point. Mostly every addicted person needs one or more courses of structured treatment to reduce or end their dependency.
Myth- Treatment for addiction does not work because end result would be a relapse and a person start with abuse once again in life.
Fact- Addiction treatment cannot be guaranteed lifelong. Relapse is a part of treatment but difference in relapse would be that a person knows the direction for his/her treatment which is always treatable.
Issues and challenges
Major challenge with addictive person is trust, as people around him/her would try to stop them to abuse a particular substance due to which they will come in their hate list; that will further lead to suspiciousness and hatred towards them. With all this the person with fall under isolation and it would be very difficult to bring him for treatment.
Some of the key challenges are: developing new coping strategies, facing trauma and shame without alcohol or drug, building new relationship and rearing the old, overcoming boredom, overcoming relapse, and finding meaning or purpose in life.
How do you know you need counseling/Therapy?
One can find out if they need counseling or therapy by checking the following points:
- You are physically dependent on substance or drug
- You are misusing substance or taking it regularly and not able to get rid of it
- You want to bring a change, but you’re unable to do so on your own, you might want to seek counseling.
- You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your day-to-day life like work, social engagement etc.
- You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your overall wellbeing.
- You’re experiencing emotions on the extremes. For example, you’re either too happy or too angry.
- You have a difficult time in understanding your emotions or in making sense of what is going on around you.
- Feeling disconnected from yourself and your loved ones.
Role of counseling & Therapy in overcoming Addiction
Therapists who specialize in de addiction and rehabilitation can help you immensely in recovering from addiction. These professionals are skilled in addressing these issues. They can help you in getting rid of the addiction through emotional exploration, cognitive restructuring, and problem solving using various technique. The client can work along with the therapist to set short term and long term goals to deal with addiction.
How does TalktoAngel Help you in overcoming your addiction?
TalktoAngel is an online platform that provides quality therapy and other mental health services online. We have qualified and experienced professionals working with us. Addiction is one of our areas of expertise. We have experts and specialists who have successfully worked previously on various cases of addiction. Studies have proven that online mental health services are as effective as the conventional mode. Furthermore, at TalktoAngel, we put your needs first. Our addiction counselling experts can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I control my addiction?If you think your addiction has turned into substance use/abuse disorder, it is best to contact a counselor/therapist who specializes in rehabilitation. However, if you think it is addiction that you can overcome on your own, you can start with observing and understanding the pattern of your addictive behavior. This should be followed with breaking the chain of addictive behavior. You should also focus on taking small steps to develop counter addictive patterns. You need to be dedicated to staying away from temptations. Since, rehabilitation or de addiction treatments often involve medication, it is best to undergo de addiction under the counsel of a professional.
Is addiction a mental illness?Addiction is a medical illness, that alters brain functions. Whereas substance use disorder is identified as “mental health condition”. It is observed in various researches that people with addiction problem are twice as possible as the general population to have a mental illness at same time.. However, substance use/abuse is a disorder identified in the DSM 5 and ICD 11.
Why am I suffering from addiction?Addiction can be caused due to a number of reasons. Heredity is one major factor, if you have family history of addiction, you are predisposed to this condition and have higher chances of becoming an addict if introduced to it. There are other causes too like prenatal exposures, early indulgence in addiction related activities, developing addiction as a stress buster or coping mechanism. Studies suggest that stress is one major cause and it can also be a result of an underlying mental health condition.
What medication is best for addiction?You cannot take medication for addiction, substance use or abuse disorder without the consultation of a psychiatrist. It is unprofessional and ethically wrong for us to disclose any medication in this manner. You can consult with one of our psychiatrist. Moreover, medication is only effective in the long term if coupled with effective psychotherapy.
Suffering from addiction? Seek online therapy for addiction to regain control of your life and lead a better future.
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