There are varied ways people can present with addiction. Often, we assume that the addiction people must work through are those related to substance use such as increased use of alcohol and drugs. It is important to highlight that addiction is not limited substance use but can be also related to activities that we feel we cannot do without. For example, when you become psychologically and behavioural reliant on activity because it brings you a sense of high, though it may have detrimental impact on you daily functioning, wellbeing, and quality of life. This dependency and excessive behaviour to get this ‘thrill’ can be described as addiction.
For most people attempting to withdraw from the addictive substance, activity or behaviour can lead to:
Frustration and irritability
Mood swings and helplessness
Change in behaviour or performance
Problems with finances and relationships
Substance misuse refers to repetitive use of a substance in a way that is damaging for an individual and can lead to dependence on a substance. Dependence involves developing a tolerance for the substance over time and going through withdrawal symptoms without it. Examples of substances that are often misused include:
- Alcohol; Cannabis; Cocaine; Heroin; Methamphetamines; Club drugs; Ecstasy; GHB; Ketamine; LSD; PCP; Nicotine
Behavioural addictions occur when behaviours are used excessively to help the person cope with difficult thoughts and feelings. Examples of addictive behaviours include:
- Compulsive shopping
- Internet use
If you feel that the above applies to you, you may benefit from therapy to help you battle your addiction.
Which therapies might help me?