Addiction is defined as ‘not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you’ (NHS 2021). It is possible to be addicted to nearly anything, however, the most commonly associated addictions tend to be gambling, drugs, alcohol and smoking. To treat this a person may receive addiction counselling.
What Can We Be Addicted To?
There are many things that you can get addicted to such as:
- Work: some people can become obsessed with their place of work/workload to the extent of becoming physically and mentally exhausted. This may cause disruptions with relationships, family and social lives.
- Internet: As technology has rapidly grown more recently, so have addictions to computers and the internet. People can spend a large amount of hours day and night gaming and surfing the internet whilst they neglect other aspects of their lives such as work, family and friends.
- Solvents: This means getting a feeling of intoxication by inhaling substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol or lighter fuel. This is called volatile substance abuse.
- Shopping: Shopping can become an addiction when an individual starts to buy things that they may not need or want. A person may start to feel feelings of guilt, shame or despair afterwards.
What Causes Addictions?
In regards to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, these substances have an effect on how you feel mentally and physically. These feelings can be enjoyable which creates a powerful urge to consistently use the substances. Gambling can become a habit that becomes extremely difficult to stop
After a win, a person may feel a similar mental high which can be the reason that they continue to do this. When you experience withdrawal symptoms from not having something usually means that you are addicted to it. Because it can be unpleasant or even uncomfortable not having these things, this is what tends to continue the addiction, getting stuck in a cycle.
Do You Need Addiction Counselling?
Recognising that you have an addiction can sometimes be even harder than resolving the addiction itself. In many cases, people who are struggling with addictions are usually the last ones to realise. It can be extremely difficult to recognise your challenges whilst in the process of dealing with them. Here are some factors you may have to consider when identifying whether you or someone else may be suffering from addiction:
- Missing work because of your behaviour.
- Negative impacts on your family and relationships from your behaviour.
- Financial difficulties as a result of this behaviour.
- Does this behaviour help you to escape from worries and problems?
- Does your behaviour make you feel better in the short term and worse in the long term?
If any of these apply to you, you may be suffering from an addiction. Here at The British CBT & Counselling, we offer addiction counselling that is a 4 step treatment.