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Addictions

What is addiction?

Addiction can be understood in lots of ways, but at its root it is a way of coping with pain. In a sense, the core problem isn’t the addiction itself but the suffering behind it.

Addiction begins when a person develops a habit of replacing pain and discomfort with a temporary high or numbness. This can involve substances like alcohol and drugs, or behaviours like gaming and shopping.

Eventually, that altered state is chased more and more, creating a dependency. And over time a tolerance can develop, meaning increasing ‘doses’ are needed get the same result.

Health, relationships and finances can all be affected by this, yet trying to stop can lead to distressing withdrawal symptoms. This is why people can feel trapped by addiction, yet with the right therapy it is possible to break free and get your life back.

What are some substance addictions?

  • Drugs

  • Prescription medications

  • Cigarettes

  • Alcohol

  • Food

What are some behavioural addictions?

  • Social media/internet

  • Video games

  • Shopping

  • Gambling

  • Work

  • Exercise

  • Pornography

What are signs of addiction?

  • A lack of control around a substance or behaviour

  • Mood swings and irritability

  • Secretiveness

  • Impaired work performance

  • Changes in personality

  • Financial difficulties

  • Abandoning interests and hobbies

  • Changes in appetite

  • Sleeplessness

Help for addiction

These therapies are known to be effective in treating addiction: CBT, DBT, EMDR, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness.

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