Addiction manifests itself in a wide variety of forms, although some are considerably more common and noticeable than others.
Addictions may be physical, psychological, or a little of both. Many addictions are actually misdiagnosed and should instead be labeled as problematic, risky, compulsive, or obsessive behaviors making an accurate diagnosis crucial for finding the right type of treatment plan.
Alcohol and narcotics are among the first few to come to mind when thinking of addictions but there are several other types people struggle with on a regular basis such as shopping, Internet, and video game addictions.
Those who are addicted to alcohol feel compelled to drink and are unable to last long without doing so. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will most likely be the result if the alcoholic doesn’t satisfy their cravings. A variety of approaches may be used to curb alcohol addiction including counseling, therapy, and having a strong support system.
Drug addictions can include prescription medication dependencies or addictions to illegal street drugs as well as nicotine. An addiction to nicotine is one that plagues many smokers who battle numerous obstacles when trying to quit including everything from strong cravings to irritability to the inability to focus clearly.
Food addictions, also harmful to one’s health, may cause withdrawal like symptoms when trying to “break the habit” of overeating. Studies show that brain chemistry changes when the food addict indulges giving a temporary feeling of great contentment. Binge eaters are also considered to be food addicts.
Shopping addictions may too have dire consequences wreaking havoc on credit ratings and finances with some instances leading to additional problems such as hoarding.
Thanks to the proliferation of the Internet, more and more people are now finding themselves addicted to a variety of online pursuits including chatting, web surfing, and video gaming.
Some other behaviors or activities that people may become addicted to include gambling, under-eating, excessive exercising, and working.
In essence, basically anything could potentially evolve into an addiction but regardless of the type, all feature the same two basic elements; the behavior in question is maladaptive and the addicted person has a compulsion to continue that behavior despite knowing the consequences.
Addiction and its many changing faces require an intense understanding of the root of the problem and why it is used as a coping mechanism.