Addiction can be defined as the continued and persistent use of a mood altering or substance, or a potentially destructive behaviour despite its likely adverse effects. Addictions can have a wide range of severity, right up to, and including, being life threatening. It’s also a well-known fact that addictions are very much on the increase throughout the world.
An addiction may start out as a simple pursuit of pleasure, but they can quickly become habit forming and destructive to both the addict themselves, and the people around them. Addiction is often characterised by a short term gratification of some sort, but is then followed by a delayed deleterious effect.
There seems to be no end to the amount of substances and activities that can become addictive to people today. However, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, exercise abuse, sex and gambling addiction and gambling are amongst the most common, and the most serious examples of addiction around today.
With addiction, a psychological dependence is built up as the brain and the body incorporate the substance, or the behaviour, into the normal function of day to day life. This, in turn, leads to states of tolerance and withdrawal, where increasingly large amounts are needed in order to achieve the desired effect.
Withdrawal is the psychological and physical symptoms that are experienced, when deprived of the substance or behaviour, to which they have become dependent. Withdrawal symptoms can include, but are not limited to: nausea, headaches, anxiety irritability, hallucinations, cold sweats, tremors and intense cravings.
We are a long way from fully understanding why some people are susceptible to addiction, whilst others seem to be able to cope without becoming addicted. There seems to be a very strong case for the belief that, coming from a family where a history of addiction exists, can make you more susceptible. However, it is much more likely that an addict originally turned to a substance or behaviour, as some sort of coping mechanism for dealing with difficult or painful events or feelings in their life. What may have started out as a controlled or even casual use, can quickly develop into a much more serious addiction.
Overcoming an addiction is a much deeper problem than simply ending the behaviour. In order to truly recover from an addiction, the deep-seated issue that led to the addiction needs to be identified and dealt with. Otherwise, it is more than likely that and degree of abstinence achieved will be short lived.
Treating addiction may be achieved using individual sessions, group therapy, or a combination of both. We offer a sympathetic, non-judgemental, sensitive and confidential environment to aid your recovery.