Addiction is an obsessive state, without which normal existence is impossible. The object of attraction eventually becomes the meaning of life and the habit turns into mania. All types of human addictions are of the same nature and arise under the influence of a combination of certain factors: social, biological, psychological. Is it possible to overcome addiction?
Causes of human addictions
The word “addiction” means dependence, the inability to achieve satisfaction in healthy ways.
Psychologists distinguish the following causes of human addiction:
- single-parent family;
- employment of parents, lack of communication with the child;
- absence of other children in the family;
- poor relations between parents (misunderstanding, fights, scandals, violation of gender roles);
- excessive parental care.
As a result, the child may develop depression and, as a result, the search for accessible pleasures that turn into a vicious addiction. With regard to alcohol dependence, the effect of heredity has also been proven.
The main types of addictions
Workaholism. Workaholics often deserve respect in the modern world, where every minute means you can earn more. But the excessive dedication to work draws all energy out of a person obsessed with work. The line between hard work and workaholism begins to blur. Workaholics, like other people suffering from addiction, return to reality only when something serious happens to their health or relationships. In Japan, the term “karoshi” or “death from workaholism” exists. This phenomenon caused quite a stir in the 1980s when several Japanese officials passed away without any medical history. Hours of work without a break led to death in the workplace;
Love addiction. After breaking up with your spouse and the love of your life, you can try to remain friends with your former partners, gradually reducing contacts and gradually getting rid of the last relic of your relationship. However, one thing remains inevitable: you have to move on. However, for some people, breaking up is especially hard. Although it’s natural to mourn the loss of relationships, some people may go too far. Psychologists have found that a blind craze causes the production of phenylethylamine, a neurological chemical that makes you feel euphoric when you fall in love. People who have a passionate love experience the same symptoms, such as insomnia and loss of sensation of time, as those who abuse cocaine. Some people experience a real withdrawal syndrome, they urgently need a charge of love, on which they begin to depend;
Dependence on the TV. It is known that a person on average spends about 3-4 hours a day sitting in front of the TV, which makes up half of the rest time. This means that by the age of 65, a person will spend about 9 years being glued to the TV. Some TV lovers can spend up to 8 hours a day watching TV. Clinical symptoms such as helplessness about stopping watching TV, using the TV to calm your nerves, and irritability if you have to stop watching TV are observed in people who are addicted to TV. During laboratory experiments, scientists studied the reaction of people to TV, watching brain waves using an electroencephalogram. Participants who watched TV were in a relaxed and passive state, and EEG showed less mental stimulation. It turned out that even after stopping watching TV, people remained relaxed and uninitiated, since watching TV caused an effect of numbness similar to taking tranquilizers. A person actually disconnects from real life, immersed in what is shown on the screen, which in turn leads to obsessive watching TV;
Dependence on exercise. We all know that physical activity is good for your health. When we perform physical exercises, endorphins are produced in the body – hormones of good mood. For some people, a strong sense of pleasure from exercise can turn into addiction. People who are addicted to exercise have various motives for their behavior, including a desire to control their weight and body shape or a feeling of inexplicable fear when they stop training. Such people often have a very busy schedule reserved for physical activity. They will exercise even when they become ill or injured, which can lead to even greater problems. They can skip work, school and ignore other obligations, just to do physical exercises;
Shopaholism. Shopaholism, or scientific oniomania, is one of the socially reinforced behavioral types of dependence. We are surrounded by advertising, which insists that we need to buy new things in order to be happier, and consumerism has become the measure of our social value. Despite the fact that shopaholism has spread in recent years, it is not a truly new violation since it was considered a psychiatric disorder at the beginning of the 20th century. Shopaholism or an obsessive desire to buy often coexists with other disorders such as anxiety disorder, substance abuse, eating disorder, impulse control disorder, and others. With this dependence, a person has symptoms such as excessive spending of money, intrusive shopping, inability to stop shopping, lying about spending money, conflicts with loved ones about shopping’
Tanorexia (tanning dependence). Doctors are concerned about the enthusiasm of many people for the solarium. Scientists have found that among lovers of tanning salons there is a behavior similar to that of alcoholics and drug addicts. The study found that when people who were fond of tanning with tanning beds were exposed to ultraviolet rays, they had increased blood flow in certain areas of the brain responsible for drug and alcohol addiction. When researchers stopped exposure to ultraviolet rays, these areas of the brain became less active. Dependence on tanning, mainly in a tanning bed, usually affects women. A 2006 study found that visiting a tanning bed promotes the production of endorphins, and discontinuing a tanning bed regimen can cause withdrawal symptoms, as with other types of addiction;
Sexual addiction. The thirst for sexual satisfaction is as old as the world. But in the modern world, this desire often turns into obsessive behavior, while access to the Internet has added problems. Sexual dependence is often described as a disorder of the genital area, characterized by obsessive actions and thoughts of a sexual nature. As with other types of addiction, it can have a negative effect on relationships. For some, addiction does not outgrow compulsive masturbation or the overuse of pornography and phone sex. For others, this may include illegal activities such as exhibitionism, obscene phone calls, child molestation, and rape. However, people who are sexually addicted will not necessarily be rapists. Increasing sexual provocation in society has led to an increase in the number of people who engage in unusual or illegal sexual practices, such as phone sex, computer pornography, virtual sex, escort services, etc.;
Internet addiction. If you are online for hours without interruption and wander aimlessly around sites, not wanting to turn off the computer, and if it repeats every day and turning off the computer makes you annoyed, then maybe you are suffering from Internet addiction. Today, psychiatrists from all over the world are beginning to recognize such varieties of Internet addiction as online pornography, the passion for computer games, the passion for social networks, the addiction to virtual dating, etc. In some countries, Internet addiction has become a real social problem. So, according to a 2007 survey in South Korea, 30 percent of people under the age of 18 were addicted to the Internet. A person suffering from Internet addiction can wander for hours on Internet sites, while not looking for information, but simply absorbing everything that comes across him on the Internet;
Dependence on plastic surgery. The negative image of their body makes many people go under the knife. A small increase, correction, tightening and the like operations are done for one thing – to become even closer to the ideal. In 2006, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons warned doctors of patients with dysmorphophobia or “imaginary malformation syndrome.” For such people, aesthetic surgery is an endless procedure and they will never be satisfied with the results. A person with dysmorphophobia may have an obsession that he or she has some kind of physical defect and spend a lot of time hiding this defect with the help of cosmetics, clothes, and operations. Often such people have unrealistic expectations from plastic surgeries, thinking that this will lead to the desired relationship or high-paying job. Even if they are satisfied with one procedure, they may find another defect in themselves that needs to be corrected;
Drug dependence. Many people take medications for medical reasons because the doctor prescribes them. But about 20 percent of people may not use drugs for medical purposes. This is called drug abuse and is a serious problem. Most often, people begin to abuse drugs such as narcotic painkillers, sedatives, and tranquilizers and stimulants. Experts do not know why the number of people suffering from addiction to drugs is increasing. But a possible reason is the availability of drugs. Also, doctors prescribe more drugs today than before, and in pharmacies you can get much more drugs without a doctor’s prescription.
Each of the unhealthy addictions brings a lot of problems to the addict himself and his family. Often it is impossible to solve this problem on our own, but there is still a solution.
How to overcome addiction?
A person must show the strength of mind to stop addiction once and for all. In most cases, you have to resort to the help of specialists. The main human dependencies are eliminated by traditional methods:
- group therapy;
- drug support.
There are no harmless dependencies.
If a person has an addiction, he or she is deprived of the opportunity to show his or her own will, so you need to understand that you need to fight any kind of addiction.
The path to abandoning addictions is long and difficult; it takes more than one year. However, this is the only way to find freedom and true happiness, to build harmonious relationships.