This might help if…
- you want to know more about addiction
- you or someone you know might be suffering from addiction
- you want to know signs of addiction
Most people have a guilty pleasure, something they know they should do in moderation, but what happens when that pleasure becomes something you can’t live without? When an indulgence becomes something you can’t give up, even though you want to, it’s possible you’re dealing with an addiction.
What is addiction?
Addiction is basically a compulsion to use a certain substance or participate in certain behaviour in order to feel good (or sometimes to avoid feeling bad). Addiction falls into two main categories:
Physical addiction is when a person’s body has actually become dependent on a particular substance. It also often means that a person’s body has developed a tolerance for the substance, meaning that they have to take more and more to feel the effects. A person with a physical addiction will feel strong symptoms of withdrawal if they try to give it up.
Psychological addiction is when a person’s craving for a substance or behaviour come from an emotional or psychological desire, rather than a physical dependence. The mind is such a powerful thing that it can produce physical symptoms like those of withdrawal including cravings, irritability and insomnia.
Types of addiction
There are a number of different types of addiction including
- drug dependence
- alcohol dependence
- compulsive behaviours (including gambling, exercise, shopping, sex and overeating)
Signs of addiction
There are a number of signs that can indicate addiction to a substance or behaviour.
The way you feel
- you do it as a way to forget problems or relax
- withdrawal from family and friends
- problems with school or work because of it
- stealing or selling stuff to keep doing it
- failed attempts to quit
- anxiety, anger or depression
- changes in your sleeping habits
- feeling shaky or sick when trying to give it up
- needing to do it more to get the same effect
- changes in your eating habits
- weight loss or weight gain
Getting help for addiction
There a number of services that can help with particular types of addiction.
If you don’t think that you’re experiencing addiction but you’re suffering from some of the above symptoms, you might be struggling with something else. Read more about different depression here