What is Addiction?
Addiction is the term used to refer to a compulsively engaging mental disorder of the brain’s reward system. During an addiction, the patient seeks repetitive consumption or exposure to acting that is temporary, highly rewarding. This habit carries adverse consequences which may put the physical, mental and emotional health of subject in serious risk of damage or corruption. An addict’s compulsive behavior is simultaneously rewarding, dangerous and reinforcing.Over time, the urge intensifies, self-control diminishes, and the user becomes psychologically and physically dependent on the continuous stimuli and is unable to stop due to the onset of withdrawal syndrome.
Forms of Addictions:
There are numerous types of behavioral and consumption addictions which include:
Also known as substance abuse, it is characterized as uncontrollable urge to intake certain non-prescription drugs. Not consuming the drug after becoming dependent on it can cause withdrawal, it severely dismantles the addict socially and mentally.
Drug addiction has many alternative treatment methods which include medication, therapy, and counseling. There are many institutions available for the purpose of rehabilitation as well. The personal measures that can be taken include early detection of symptoms and responsible identification of such environments or social groups which are involved in the usage of drugs so that one can prevent any association with the act itself.
Excessive consumption of alcohol that results in health risks, such as liver damage, depression, anxiety, infections and stomach disorders. It may also lead to cardiovascular and neural damage as well as increase risk of cancer, as it is evident the damage is not only to the health but ultimately the entire quality of life.Sometimes it can be as severe as to cause fetal death or disorder. Alcoholism is harmful to such an extent that it can cause miscarriage so it must be avoided by pregnant women.
Addicts must seek a thorough detoxification treatment as well as the help of a psychotherapist. The best method to prevent any further involvement is to adopt absolute abstinence. Several treatment methods are also helpful; currently, medicines such as Disulfiram, Naltrexone and Acamprosate are being used by doctors for the purpose of reducing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Clinical research has shown that frequent and excessive consumption of high sugar and high-fat foods in the daily diet can induce a form of food addiction, which results in a constant state of hunger and expanded capacity for intake. This carries the risk of causing obesity, digestive problems, stroke, malnutrition, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure. Unfortunately, the problems are not only related to physical health but also mental health, which suffers immensely, resulting in depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem
Recovery from food addiction is considered harder than recovery from alcoholism because although an alcohol addict can abstain from drinking alcohol a person suffering from food addiction still requires daily food consumption. The act of compulsive eating can be broken with the help of nutritionists, psychiatrists, and doctors. A nutritionist can help organize a healthy and fulfilling diet chart that will provide all the daily essential nutrients and cut out on the excessive sugar, fats, and salts that are damaging to the health, without cutting down on the bulk of the meal too much. A doctor will help prescribe certain medications that help control and regulate hunger, preventing any urges of binge eating or untimely stuffing.
It refers to a necessary and engaging act that is inherently pleasurable despite its damaging consequences. Repeated execution of the action develops into a behavior pattern
When a person becomes compulsively engaged in the participation of performing sexual activity, to such an extent that they may feel the need to do it every day and be overly stimulated by it most of the time which leads not only to the risk of unsafe sex leading to sexually transmitted diseases but also unwanted pregnancies and infections of the genital organs. Although it is not categorized as a medical disorder, it requires serious consideration as it may lead to increase in rape stats and corruption of society
Sexual addiction has been recognized to develop through the same bio-molecular mechanism which is responsible for causing drug addiction as well. Certain medications can be administered to suppress the stimulus and urge. Also, psychotherapy can help the person to recognize his behavior patterns and exercise self-control and self-awareness.
Video Game Addiction:
The most engaging technological addiction is related to gaming. This impairs the life of a gamer socially and psychologically, making him dependent on the virtual reality for inducing a sense of heightened presence, causing him to lose thousands of unproductive hours to waste, making the subject unable to cope with real social situations, as well as cause anxiety
The most effective method is to rid of all gaming devices or at least limit them. The gamer must increase his social circle to people of diverse interests so to explore outside his traditional mindset. Since it can be difficult to stop the person altogether must begin by limiting his game time and scheduling it later to essential tasks.
Also known as compulsive buying addiction, and the addict is referred to as a shopaholic, who is motivated by and uncontrollable obsession with shopping, which stimulates temporary pleasure after acquiring the items of desire but is soon replaced with an urge to relive the experience in which case the shopaholic may keep buying bulks of unnecessary items which result in financial pressure and problems with fulfilling the essential monetary affairs.
Depending on whether the act is adaptive or maladaptive it can either be a therapy within itself or addiction. The person may seek psychotherapy or simply try to exercise self-control by limiting the amount of money withdrawn at a time and carried in cash while out shopping. One effective method is not to bring any credit cards rather a limited amount of money at a time.
General Measures for Addiction Treatments:
- Nutrition and diet control
- Adjustment of Routine
- Self-Help books and blogs
- Alternatives (such as a nicotine patch for smokers)
- Socially active behavior
- Group therapies