Addiction: Getting Help You Need For Addictions
People turn to substances and/or behaviors to escape or distract themselves from
pain. Not all of these are unhealthy or problematic but when they get in the
way of relationships, work or enjoyment in life, they can become increasingly
distressing. Substance addictions occur when the amount of use has created a
tolerance to the substance and more of the drug is needed for the same high.
Addictions also create a physiological withdrawal from the substance when not
Substance addictions can include, but are not limited to alcohol, depressants,
stimulants, psychedelics, painkillers and prescription drugs.
Other behaviors that can become distressing or uncomfortable involve the use
of sex, love, food, internet, technology, work, gambling, gaming, self-harm,
and shopping. These are sometimes referred to as “process/behavioral
addictions” although there isn’t enough scientific research and
professional consensus to support this diagnosis. When these behaviors feel “out
of control” and efforts to change them are unsuccessful, finding a therapist
to understand the underlying causes and reduce the negative consequences of
them is warranted.
Often unwanted habits, compulsions and addictions are related to another mental
health issue like anxiety, depression, impulse-control disorder, obsessive-compulsive
disorder or a personality disorder. Treating the underlying causes and not
just the symptom is far more effective in the long term.