‘Addiction’ is an inability to stop repetitive behaviour in spite of harmful consequences.
Often engaging in addictive activities is to experience pleasure and release from your everyday stresses. Many people who use addictive substances regularly or engage in potentially addictive activities manage without having major problems. However, when your life is empty or there is a need to escape from realities of life a tendency to addiction can increase ranging from alcohol, drugs, eating, gambling, shopping, sex or use of the internet. Your behaviour becomes more frequent and intense and your brain and body becomes tolerant and your need for more drugs or money to spend increases to get the same effect. The result is chemical changes in the brain and in some cases addiction may cause damaging physical and psychological effects.
These behaviours are often used to deal with depression or anxiety and the long term consequences provoke feelings of guilt and shame which eventually create an increasingly destructive cycle drawing in family and friends. What started out as a pleasure seeking experience becomes an inability to stop repetitive behaviour in spite of harmful consequences. Trying to stop causes physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms and you will experience feelings of discomfort, distress and an intense craving for the substance or activity.
In order to change you need to want to, and believe that you can overcome your addiction and that your life will improve accordingly. It is important that we address the underlying problems attached to your addiction and that you involve family and friends to support you in your recovery. Treatment begins by me encouraging you to think about how you want to change, to help you understand your emotional needs and to face the realities of your life more positively and with hope.