Types of Addictions
Addiction is a complex condition characterized by persistent drug use or problematic behaviors, despite knowledge of the negative consequences. Although substance abuse may be the activity most commonly associated with addiction, a person is capable of developing an addiction to certain behaviors, such as gambling, as well . In fact, there are many different types of addiction. Whether the addiction is chemical or behavioral, compulsive use, diminished control, and significant impairment in the individual’s life, these signs point toward the existence of an addiction.
Addiction impact many parts of a person’s life. It often also impacts the lives of their family members. Need help with your, or a loved one’s addiction, consider calling us,
- Brain changes resulting in drug or alcohol tolerance.
- Impaired learning, decision-making, memory, and judgment.
- Health problems
- Organ damage, depending on the substance used.
- Increased risk of communicable diseases.
- Family strife and child custody issues.
- Work problems, including declining performance, absenteeism, and loss of employment.
- Diminished academic performance.
- Legal issues.
- Financial problems.
Behavioral addiction and substance addiction have a high rate of co-occurrence, suggesting the two conditions may share a common cause . The two addictions have similar mechanisms of action in the brain. Both substance abuse and engaging in addictive behaviors targets the brain’s reward system and produces feelings of pleasure
Other similarities between substance addiction and behavioral addiction include
- Euphoria resulting from use or behavior.
- Psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms.
- Loss of control.
- Development of tolerance.
- Perceiving mind-altering effects.
- Denial of problems, even with evidence.
Alcohol or Drug Addiction
Substance addiction is a progressive, relapsing condition that is characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol abuse despite negative consequences . Addiction significantly impairs the user’s ability to control or quit substance use. Two mechanisms that fuel substance addiction are tolerance and dependence. Someone who has developed tolerance to a substance requires increasing doses to feel the desired effects. Taking ever-increasing doses or taking them more frequently to overcome tolerance can speed up the development of chemical and physical dependence to the addictive substance. When someone is dependent on a drug, they need the drug just to feel normal and will often experience some form of withdrawal when use is cut back or stopped. Although dependence and addiction are not the same, addiction is almost always accompanied by dependence as well as tolerance.
While most people are familiar with substance addiction, research shows that it is also possible for a person to develop a behavioral addiction. A behavioral addiction – or process addiction, as it is sometimes referred to – is similar to a substance addiction in that a person essentially becomes dependent on the pleasurable feelings that certain behaviors (e.g., gambling) bring about, and begins to act out a compulsive behavior to reach that high time and again. A person may be diagnosed with a behavioral addiction if they show loss of self-control over the behavior, including continuation of the behavior despite apparent risk factors and negative consequences in work or social relationships.
Researchers have identified some common behaviors that can lead to addiction. Click below to learn more about each individual behavioral addiction.
- Cell phone and social media.
The increasing number of exercise addiction cases makes exercise addiction treatment a growing concern nowadays. A recent study shows that exercise dependence is prevalent among college-age adults and even higher among college-age women.
What Is Exercise Addiction
Exercise is among the most essential parts of keeping a healthy and sound body. In fact, it can help people fight off diseases, increase their body resistance, and stay in good shape. Besides its wide array of health benefits, exercise can become addictive as well for some people. Exercise addiction is an obsessive disorder that can impact a person’s physical and psychological aspects.
Signs You Are Addicted to Exercising
Exercise addiction occurs when people feel the need to constantly go to the gym to exercise regardless of their knowledge that it can have damaging effects to their body. The addiction is normally accompanied by a number of motivations, such as mood fluctuations, evasiveness, a strong will to take charge, low self-image, and reduced capacity to successfully deal with day-to-day affairs. Exercise addiction is usually associated with anorexia nervosa.
type of addiction
This type of addiction becomes prevalent nowadays in view of the shift in exercise trends. The most obvious characteristic of the addiction is the compulsive need to exercise, which begins to affect every aspect of a person’s life. As with other types of addiction, exercise addiction is progressive and advances over time. When this happens, exercise becomes the central part of a person’s life, ultimately jeopardizing all the other aspects of his or her life, such as social life, work, family, friends, and other relationships. Exercise addicts experience feelings of increased nervousness and expectation, as well as an overwhelming desire to find exercise opportunities. After some time, nervousness, depression, seclusion, and sleep problems take over the addiction. As a result, the patient develops cagy, wary, and secret plan as to his or her exercise activities.
Exercise addicts are observed to show obsessive exercise behaviours and overindulgence with exercise routines even at odd times and at an overly high intensity. This over exercise leads to body and muscle pains, because rigid exercise promotes the release of cortisol in answer to stress and increases testosterone discharge in men.
Often exercise addicts keep a note to record every workout they do and show aversion to anything that can distract them from their exercise activities. They don’t want to hear any negative comment about their exercise habits and would become irritable when encouraged to stop exercising.
Help for Exercise Addicts
Behavioural Addiction Treatment
Behavioural addiction treatment can be complicated because no illicit substance is involved. Instead, behavioural addiction is defined as any repetitive behaviour that the person repeats over and over again without considering any negative consequences.
The first step in the treatment of exercise addiction is the acceptance on the part of the addict that he or she has an addict problem. Next is the determination to stop the vicious cycle of the addiction for good. Patients would do well to keep distance from exercising for a minimum of one month. Specific activities can help patients overcome their need to do rigid workouts, some of which are yoga, meditation, and walking. Another good idea is to engage them in worthwhile activities, such as writing, painting, dancing, singing, gardening, etc., to turn their attention away from exercising. Battle exercise addiction involves striking a good balance between the mind and the body. When dealing with someone with this type of addiction, be aware that the patient will most likely go against the supplication to quit exercising. If the addiction has become a chronic condition, the assistance of a medical professional must be considered a priority.
Do you think you are addicted to exercising or know someone with the same problem, it is a good idea to seek professional help as soon as possible. The addiction may possibly be a result of an underlying cause or disorder. Instead of making faulty judgments, find the answer straight from an exercise addiction treatment expert.
Food and Eating Related Addiction Treatment Programs
Eating Disorder addiction programs will benefit over 10 million women and 1 million men suffering from an eating disorder (National Eating Disorders Association). This is not surprising, because studies show that nearly 80 present of all women are dissatisfied with their physical appearance. Eating disorders are the result of consistently eating too much or too little. The reason for this behavior often has to do with poor self-image. Overcoming a food-related addiction can be accomplished with the help of a professional.
How to Tell Whether You is a Food Addict
At some point in time, everyone overeats or goes without food for an extended period of time. Problems arise when individuals with a food-related addiction continues to do this for a long period of time. The behaviour becomes involuntary. There are many symptoms to look for and questions to ask you to help identify an eating disorder.
- Do you eat for emotional reasons? Do you find yourself binge eating when you are worried or when you are feeling sad? Oftentimes, a food addict will eat to feel satisfied. The addiction is usually counterproductive because food addicts are usually dissatisfied with their physical appearance.
- Are you often afraid to eat out of fear of gaining weight? Those who suffer from anorexia nervosa will often count out calories and limit their intake, if they eat at all. Bulimia sufferers fear gaining weight but love the way they feel when they eat. They will gorge themselves on food and throw it up afterwards.
- Do you constantly think about food and what you will eat next or when you will eat? Constant thoughts of food usually indicate a food addiction.
- Do you abuse medications that help you maintain your weight? Use of laxatives to help you maintain your weight after binging can be very dangerous. If you frequently use diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics to control your weight, then you may have a problem.
- Are you consumed with how much you weigh? If weight has become your primary focus and you’re eating revolves around your weight, then this would indicate some type of eating disorder.
Types of Food Addiction
Bulimia is a disorder where people overindulge in food and then purge the contents of their stomach. These individuals often have a normal weight due to the fact that they do not overindulge every time they eat. This type of addiction can result in heart failure due to the loss of vital nutrients, such as potassium.
Anorexia is an addiction where the individuals starve themselves. They will often exercise to the point of exhaustion and will count every calorie that they put into their bodies. The result of this disorder is malnutrition.
Binge Eating Disorder
Individuals with a binge eating disorder are usually overweight and eat to make themselves feel better or to replace something that they are lacking in their lives. Overeating can cause a wide variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, gall bladder disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Treatment for Food Addiction
Treating food addiction is often difficult to accomplish because most Americans are obsessed about being thin. Anorexia treatment and bulimia treatment involve meeting with a nutritionist to help the person get back to a normal weight. The individuals must also undergo analysis to help them identify the root of the problem. Once the underlying problem has been identified, the person usually undergoes psychological treatment as well as medical treatment. All food addiction treatment methods require that the addict cooperate with intervention. Oftentimes, hospitalization is the only way to help fight the addiction.
Dangers of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can result in a wide variety of health problems, including:
- Poor nutrition
- Cardiac arrest
- Low blood pressure or pulse
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Yellow skin
- Brittle hair and nails
Food addictions can be fatal if allowed to progress over a long period of time.
Gambling Addiction Treatment Programs
Legal gambling can be an enjoyable pastime when people engage in it on a very occasional basis. However, when the trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City become too frequent, or a gambler racks up debts to cover constant losses, gambling addiction treatment becomes necessary.
Overly frequent gambling and debts are but two of the clearest signs you are addicted to gambling. Other indications of gambling addiction include an obsession with gambling, in which the gambler plans his or her activities and finances around gambling, a constant need to raise the amount of money that is used for gambling especially if the higher sums are used to attempt to win enough money to make up for prior losses, and feelings of irritability or nervousness when a gambler is not actually gambling.
Identifying a Person with a Gambling Problem
Gambling addicts, who are also known as pathological gamblers, often deny that they have a problem even when their addiction to gambling has reached the point that they have suffered severe financial, personal and social consequences. Sometimes, the only true help for gambling addicts is obtained is when the pathological gambler is arrested or otherwise brought to the attention of the criminal justice system. This usually happens only after the gambler has committed theft, fraud, or other offenses in order to obtain the funds he or she needs to continue gambling.
How Treatment for Gambling Addicts Works
Medically Assisted Detox
A medically assisted detox is the supervised weaning of a drug addict, using a substitute drug. The average medically assisted detox lasts between three and seven days, depending on the individual circumstances.
Gambling addiction treatment is based on counselling and behaviour modification therapy. While the thrills of gambling may produce a reaction in the brain that is similar to that of drug abuse, there is no medication or surgical procedure that can stop addiction to gambling. However, in some cases, a pathological gambler may also be addicted to drugs or alcohol, both of which are often easy to obtain in and around legal and illegal gambling venues.
Whenever multiple addictions are suspected, a residential treatment center is usually the best option. Treatment for such combined substance and gambling addictions can be complex and can require medical detoxification to treat acute substance withdrawal symptoms before the patient’s pathological gambling addiction can be addressed.
When gambling addiction is the sole type of compulsive behavior that affects a patient, the choice between residential and outpatient therapy depends upon the severity of the addiction and how strong the addict’s own desire to break his or her addiction is. Often, if treatment is started as soon as a gambler admits to showing any of the signs you are addicted to gambling, outpatient therapy is sufficient. This therapy can include attendance at “12-step programs” that are led by fellow recovering pathological gamblers, as well as professional counseling that includes cognitive therapy, which is known to provide help for gambling addicts.
On the other hand, if a pathological gambler continues to deny he or she has a problem, to the point that the gambler has suffered the loss of a job or business, devastated his or her finances, or has committed a criminal offense due to gambling addiction, a residential gambling addiction treatment program becomes necessary. This ensures that the patient is fully supervised, and is unable to even engage in the most minor forms of gambling such as purchase of a lottery ticket. While it may seem difficult or impossible for a patient whose funds have become depleted due to gambling to be able to pay for residential treatment, residential treatment programs are aware of the issue. The administrators of many programs, especially those run on a non-profit basis, will try to provide help for gambling addicts by accepting insurance or a comfortable payment arrangement that takes into account the patient’s present financial situation.
Internet Addiction Treatment Programs
What is Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction is defined as the compulsive use of the Internet despite the fact it is having negative consequences on the individual. Most people have some kind of Internet service in their homes, and while many see it as a handy piece of modern technology, it has a dark side for some people. Internet addiction is often dismissed as being an exaggerated addiction, with many people believing addicts need to do nothing more than exercise self-control. However, according to a report by Virginia Tech, Internet addiction is a very real dependence, with symptoms, tolerance, and withdrawals .
Signs You Are Addicted to the Internet
Just as with any other type of addiction, people who are addicted to the Internet may display certain signs. Generally, an increased use of the Internet is not enough justification for addiction, and the Virginia Tech report states that people should display two or more symptoms of addiction before being considered for an Internet addiction treatment program. People who are preoccupied or constantly talking about the Internet may be exhibiting signs of addiction. If this is accompanied with being secretive about their online use and with irritability behavior’s when questioned, the likelihood of Internet addiction increases. People who are addicted have described feelings of euphoria when using the Internet and feel restless or irritable when unable to access a computer. If people have tried repeatedly to stop or restrict their Internet use without success, this may also indicate they are dependent on the Internet. This kind of addiction can be isolating for these individuals, especially as they may not realize they have a problem. This means they are often unsure or too worried to consider asking for help.
Internet Addiction Treatment Programs
Once people feel ready to tell others they have a problem, there is help for Internet addicts available. According to Dr. Kimberly Young of The Center of Online Addiction (COA), counseling is the most effective treatment for Internet addiction. Dr Young believes that many people who suffer from this type of dependency do so because of other underlying problems in their life. These problems could be a poor relationship, a bad childhood, or a self-esteem issue. Experts also believe people use the Internet as a form of escapism-a way to get away from the pressures of life. While some people know when to stop, others see it as a permanent replacement for reality. The first step of any Internet addiction program is an assessment provided by a doctor or another trained professional. This means addicts will receive the treatment most suitable to their needs. Medication is only used when medical professionals believe there is an underlying anxiety or mood disorder, which may delay the person’s recovery. People can attend their treatment program as an inpatient or an outpatient, depending on how severe their Internet addiction is.
Internet Addiction Counselling
Therapy is an important part of any addiction recovery program, as it addresses the strong psychological dependency, which keeps people using the Internet despite being aware of the negative effects it has on their lives. A therapist will work one-on-one with an individual at first, helping the client understand the addiction and the individual triggers. The therapist will also educate the individuals on how to cope with life stresses and problems, which ordinarily may encourage them to turn to the Internet to escape. Depending on the individuals and the severity of their addiction, group therapy may also be an option. This allows addicts to share their experiences as well as lend each other’s support and encouragement. Many rehabilitation centers offer a mentor service, so the individuals have someone they can call or turn to when they feel tempted to relapse. Treatment for co-existing mental health issues is also paramount to a successful recovery. On-going counselling is important, especially as a relapse is most likely to happen in the first 12 months of recovery.
Love and Relationship Addiction Treatment Programs
While people often think of addiction as an abuse of substances, it can be an unhealthy physical or psychological dependence on anything, including love. Addictions to love, relationships, or sex are also quite similar to drug addictions, and love addiction treatment shares some similarities with drug rehab.
Love as a Drug
Falling in love can bring about a sense of euphoria. When in a budding relationship, the world often seems like a brighter, happier place. Sometimes, cares melt away and responsibilities take a backseat to the pleasurable experience. This “honeymoon phase” may be due to natural chemicals. Love and romance activate regions of the brain that partly control the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter with a “feel good” effect. These regions of the brain are also associated with drug addiction.
People who are addicted to love may be addicted to the feelings associated with higher dopamine levels, or they may be addicted to their natural oxytocin. Some drugs have a similar effect. Infatuation is similar to cocaine high, according to Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D., a professor who studied the chemistry of love. Withdrawal from a relationship can also affect the areas of the brain associated with cocaine and nicotine cravings.
Signs You Are Addicted to Love
A love addiction can be difficult to differentiate from the normal highs and lows experienced in relationships. While an addiction often involves unhealthy behaviour’s and distressing thought patterns, some people may frequently have unhealthy relationships without being considered an addict. Certain signs do indicate a potential problem, however. The signs include:
- Obsessing over someone to the point that it interferes with everyday life or influences a person to behave inappropriately.
- Idealizing a partner or potential partner and considering that person to be “perfect” or to be the only who could ever be the “right” partner.
- Lying or manipulating someone with seduction, empty promises, violence, or any other means to control the person or convince him or her to stay in the relationship.
- Feelings of worthlessness when single or experiencing distress when alone.
- Cycling between elation and depression depending on a relationship’s status.
- Avoiding relationships and sex for set periods in an attempt to stop these behavior’s or the emotional ups and downs.
Some love addicts also tend to pursue partners who are bad for them in some way, such as people who are emotionally distant or involved with someone else. They may also struggle with co-dependency.
Help for Love Addicts
Addiction Support Groups
Voluntary addiction support groups are often very useful in providing an outlet for recovering or former addicts who have completed residential or other intensive rehabilitation therapy to continue to deal with the issues that led to their addiction. Participation in these groups, which is often also recommended by counsellors and addiction experts as a part of intensive outpatient addiction therapy, often prevents relapses of addiction disorders.
Although love addiction treatment mirrors drug abuse treatment in some respects, the primary goal is somewhat different. Love addicts should not strive or vow to abstain from relationships for the rest of their lives. Instead, treatment focuses on helping people feel good about themselves, with or without partners, and helping them make adjustments to beliefs and behaviour’s to have healthy relationships.
Treatment often includes counselling, such as cognitive behavioural. This can help a person overcome any negative beliefs and perceptions about relationships that influence the addiction. The behavioural aspect may include temporary abstinence. When not dating, the person may have an easier time working through withdrawal symptoms and staying committed to treatment. After addressing underlying issues, such as co-dependency, the person may find that the potential for sex or relationships does not elicit the same intense feelings it once did.
Attending group support can also help people manage love addiction. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a community-based group. It follows a 12-step program similar to the one used in Alcoholics Anonymous. Depending on the facility and whether a person opts for inpatient or outpatient treatment, professionally facilitated group therapy may be another component of treatment.
Porn and Masturbation Addiction Treatment Programs
Most types of pornography are legal and easily accessible, which makes it easier for a person’s pornography use to spiral out of control. Like drugs and alcohol, pornography affects the pleasure centre’s of the brain and can become addictive.
Certain areas of the brain do not differentiate between images and reality. When people watch scary movies, for example, they may experience a rush of adrenaline as the body prepares to run or fight the bad guy. When they watch pornographic movies, their neurotransmitters respond and the body becomes sexually aroused. Masturbation and orgasm then unleash dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and oxytocin, which relaxes the mind and body, provides positive reinforcement for viewing pornography, and bonds the person to the experience.
Signs You Are Addicted to Pornography
Addiction typically happens gradually. People may start watching porn more frequently and thinking about it more often. Suddenly, it seems, the behaviour’s and thoughts are difficult to stop. They may feel depressed or guilty after watching it or masturbating and vow to stop the behaviour’s but find it too difficult. Thoughts about sex and porn can become intrusive and interfere with work and relationships. Some people view it in inappropriate places, such as on the job or in school. Turning to porn in times of stress, rather than managing the problem or conflict, is another sign of addiction.
Porn addicts usually become desensitized to “soft” pornography, and they continue to build a tolerance. Eventually, they may need to view extremely graphic or taboo materials to become aroused. In some cases, they may start to act out the pornographic scenarios or seek sexually deviant experiences with others. For others, having sex may feel less gratifying than watching porn or masturbating. Fantasy can seem preferable to real relationships, partly because there are no boundaries and no chances of rejection or criticism. An addict may also stop assocaiting sex with love, affection, and romantic relationships.
Help for Porn Addicts
The Importance of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
For individuals who are suffering from an addiction, an inpatient addiction treatment program may be a good option. This type of treatment differs from an outpatient treatment in that patients are admitted into a treatment facility. This article will briefly describe inpatient addiction treatment.
Porn addiction treatment programs can help people overcome destructive thoughts and behavior’s, and it can help them repair strained relationships with significant others. The primary goal, as it is with drug addiction, is to abstain from pornography use and prevent relapses .
Therapy for porn addiction usually includes help with stress management. When people learn and practice several healthy methods for relieving anxiety and depression, they may be less likely to masturbate or watch porn for relief. The urges to do so can remain and be intense at times, so therapists also help people develop a plan for riding out the cravings without giving in to the temptation. This is similar to nicotine addicts chewing celery until the craving subsides.
Because certain items, such as lingerie or lipstick, can be triggers for urges or compulsions, therapists also help addicts identify their triggers and learn to cope with them. behavioral modification methods such as desensitization may be used. Learning to stop and replace certain types of mental imagery is another aspect of therapy.
Addicts who are married or in serious relationships may also be encouraged to enter couples therapy. In couple’s therapy, addicts are encouraged to be open and honest about their past and current behaviour’s and thoughts. This can help the partner gain a better understanding of the problem and help the couple begin to re-establish trust if it was lost. The therapist may also help the couple develop an accountability plan.
Porn addiction treatment programs usually include support groups, too, such as Sexaholics Anonymous. SA is a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. In some cases, medications such as Depo-Provera may be prescribed to help reduce a person’s sex drive. Psychiatrists may also prescribe antidepressants or antianxiety medications for underlying conditions that influence the addiction.
Porn addiction treatment can help people gain a better understanding of the condition, as well as more control over it. For this reason, some programs include recommended reading and discussions of books about it.
Sex Addiction Treatment Programs
If thinking about sex has taken over your life, you might have a sex addiction problem. Sex addiction can be embarrassing because we’ve been socialized not to talk openly about sex or sexual problems. If you’re struggling with an obsession with sex or an addiction to porn, help is available. You don’t have to suffer in silence; you can get sex addiction treatment.
Signs You Are Addicted To Sex
People sometimes confuse sex addiction with having an unusually high sex drive. However, a high sex drive isn’t necessarily a symptom of a problem. Sex addiction differs from high sex drive because it is an obsession that takes over your life and makes it difficult to function at work or school and may negatively impact your relationships.
If you or someone you love has the following symptoms, you may be dealing with sex addiction:
- Obsessive thinking about sex. People who struggle with sex addiction think about sex almost all the time. They have trouble focusing on other things and may find themselves thinking about sex at inappropriate times. For example, addicts may engage in sexual fantasies during a boring meeting at work and consequently have no idea what happened at the meeting.
- Distorted thinking. Most addicts don’t take responsibility for their addiction. They may blame others for negative behaviour’s-for example, claiming that they wouldn’t be thinking about sex if their partner was more willing to satisfy them. Many sex addicts are unaware they have a problem and make excuses if you confront them about their behaviour’s.
- Engaging in illegal or dangerous activities. Sex addicts have a compulsive need to satisfy themselves sexually in ways that may be inappropriate. Indecent exposure, obscene phone calls and molestation may be the result of sex addiction. Addicts may also engage in unsafe sexual practices, such as having sex with multiple partners without using protection.
- Damage to relationships because of sexual activity. If you or a loved one consistently cheats on a partner or puts sex above spending time with children or with friends who aren’t sexual partners, it’s a strong sign you may be struggling with sexual addiction.
Help for Sex Addicts
Sex addiction treatment works best once the addict himself has decided he wants help. This may come after a negative incident like losing a relationship or may occur spontaneously because the addict is tired of hiding his addiction or trying to fight it on his own.
Treatment help addicts stop engaging in negative sexual behaviour’s by using a combination of therapy and education. Sex addicts must learn the difference between healthy sexual expression and addictive behaviour. This can be achieved through sex education. Individual therapy can help the addict determine the cause of his addictive behaviour and to make better choices. Often, families of sex addicts, especially the addict’s partner, also need help to deal with the damage the sex addict’s behaviour has caused in the relationship and to learn how to interact with the addict in a healthy manner. Sex addicts are often encouraged to attend 12-step programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous to help them recover from their addiction.
Although many addicts attend in Patient rehab programs which require them to live at the rehab centre for a certain period of time, some addicts do better with an outpatient program. Outpatient programs allow sex addicts to continue their normal daily activities while getting treatment for their addiction.
Shopping Addiction Treatment Programs
Shopping addiction, which is sometimes called compulsive buying disorder (CBD), is similar to a substance addiction. Shopping or spending feels like a temporary relief or “high” to people with this disorder, yet it often leads to negative feelings afterward, which drive them to seek more relief. Shopping addiction treatment can help break this cycle.
A person’s shopping addiction can go unnoticed by the general public, especially in developed countries. Not only is shopping considered a normal behavior, but it is also encouraged in societies that place considerable value on appearances and material wealth. Compulsive shopping or spending can be incredibly damaging to a person’s personal life, however. In addition to causing or aggravating mental distress, it can lead to financial and interpersonal difficulties.
Signs You Are Addicted to Shopping
One of the primary signs of a problem with shopping is the tendency or desire to make a purchase when feeling upset, angry, or disappointed. With a shopping addiction, purchases can provide a brief euphoric feeling. This seems to relieve the anxiety or depression from a setback in life; however, those negative feelings then return when the shopping trip is over. Sometimes, they’re also compounded by guilt or frustration from the splurge. Additional signs of shopping addiction include
- Purchasing many items but rarely or never using them.
- Hiding purchases or lying about them to avoid conflicts with others.
- Juggling accounts or skipping necessary bill payments to purchase more items.
- Using credit rather than cash to pay for frequent shopping sprees.
- Shopping alone or only with others who make a large number of purchases.
People with shopping addictions tend to be somewhat obsessive about the shopping experience. They anticipate and prepare for their shopping trips by planning the details, such as what they will wear, and researching purchases, such as the latest fashions or best bargains. The shopping itself feels exciting, and, in some cases, it’s even sexually arousing. They may also buy something just because it is on sale or because it is popular, regardless of whether they will use it or even want it
Help for Shopping Addicts
Family interventions are important because they help the abusers realize that they have options and people surrounding them that will support their option for treatment. The abusers will not be forced into a vehicle and driven to a rehabilitation centre against their will.
Shopping addiction treatment programs usually address several aspects and consequences of the addiction, including underlying mental health issues, conflicts within relationships, and financial difficulties. Several types of treatment and support are used.
Shopping addiction has a high rate of comorbidity with other mental health diagnoses, including mood or anxiety disorders and eating disorder. People with this addiction are also more likely to abuse substances. Shopping addiction treatment often involves psychotherapy to address these potential issues as well as the problems associated with shopping or spending.
A popular form of treatment is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which is provided in group or single sessions . CBT helps people change unhealthy thought patterns that contribute to compulsive shopping and change their behaviour’s or habits. If an underlying disorder is identified, treatment may also include medications. SSRIs, for example, can help some people manage the anxiety or depression associated with the addiction.
Because shopping or spending addictions can affect other people, such as spouses or family members, a program may include couples or family therapy. This can help people work through related conflicts and develop a plan for managing the behavior’s at home. Accountability is an important component of this. The addicted person may be prompted to share receipts or bank statements with a significant other to encourage honesty and discourage compulsive purchases.
People who have acquired a significant amount of debt may also benefit from financial counselling and joining groups devoted to living simply. Community support groups, such as Debtors Anonymous, can also help people regain control of their spending.
Video Games Addiction Treatment Programs
It is unfortunate, but true, that the prevalence of video games has led to an increase in video game addiction and the need for video game addiction programs. As video games become more sophisticated and compelling to play, many individuals are finding they are, or someone they love is, having difficulty limiting the amount of time they spend playing games. Particularly at risk for developing a video game addiction are men under 30, shy or troubled teenagers, and children.
Video Game Addiction Treatment Programs
Currently, there is no formal diagnosis for video game addiction. Formally, it is described as an excessive or compulsive use of computers or video games to the point where it interferes with a person’s daily life. Psychologists have found video game addiction mirrors gambling addiction in a key way. According to Kimberly Young, clinical director for the Center for On-Line Addiction, video game addiction is a clinical impulse control disorder. Like gambling addiction, people who are addicted to video games have difficulty controlling the impulse to play.
It is uncertain exactly what causes people to become addicted to gaming. Like other addictions, there is a definite psychological factor at work. People who are addicted to gaming use video games to escape the real world. For example, a young man who is subjected to bullying at work may escape to the video game world where he had more control over his environment.
Because there is no formal diagnosis for video game addiction, there are little to no formal video game addiction treatment programs. However, there is still hope and help for those addicted to video games.
Treatment for video game addiction can be obtained in one of two ways:
- Treatment with a licensed professional who has experience treating addictions
- Group therapy through Gamblers’ Anonymous or a similar program
From console games to computer games to cell phone games, video games are a major part of the society. As such, treating video game addiction is not as simple as teaching an addict how to avoid the computer. Since many video game addicts are required to use a computer to function in society, treatment will focus on helping them learn how to use one responsibly and how to effectively deal with the impulse to play video games.
Signs You are Addicted to Playing Video Games
- Inability to cease playing video games
- Thinking obsessively about gaming
- Decreased interest in other people or activities outside of gaming
- A reduction in performance at home, work, and/or school
- Increasingly poor hygiene
- Lying to friends or family members about game related activities, such as the amount of time spent playing games or the amount of money spent buying games
- Committing crimes to continue playing video games (e.g. stealing money)
Signs a Child or Adolescent is Addicted to Video Games
If you suspect a child or teenager is addicted to video games, look for the following signs:
- The child spends the bulk of his or her free time playing video games
- He or she begins falling behind in classes, missing classes, or fail to complete assignments
- Showing a preference for playing video games rather than spend time with family or participate in other activities
- Suddenly dropping out of activities they enjoyed previously
- He or she show signs of withdrawal such as irritability, anger, or agitation when they are not able to play video games
A child or teenager who spends a lot of time playing video games may not necessarily be addicted to them. It is a good idea to monitor his or her gaming behavior and keep a written record of your observations. The record should include information on when and how long the child plays, how the child react when he or she is forced to stop playing, and any problems that arise from his or her gaming activities.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
It is important to familiarize yourself with the indicators of addiction so that you can recognize problematic substance use and/or behaviors in yourself, a family member, or a loved one.
Signs of addiction include :
- A great deal of time is spent using substances or engaging in the problematic behavior.
- The inability to cut back or quit using or engaging in the behavior.
- A strong desire to use or engage in the behavior.
- An inability to fulfill obligations at school, work, or home.
- Relationship or social problems resulting from use or behavior.
- Previously enjoyed hobbies are abandoned in favor of use or behavior.
- Tolerance to the substance or behavior.
- Withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use or behavior.