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Anything is fine if done within limits, but if it exceeds it can result to be dangerous. What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘addiction’? You might think that it is about depending deeply on a substance like drugs or alcohol. But it is not only about getting addicted to alcohol, tobacco ad drugs, apart from that there are various things that you get addicted to. According to research almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction and only 10% of people get their treatment. Moreover, about 20% of Americans who are suffering from depression and anxiety also have addiction disorders. 

What is addiction? 

Addiction means when you have no control over doing, using, or taking something to the point that can be harmful to you.


It is a complex condition that is related to the brain that is influenced by the genes and the environment characterized by substance use or compulsive actions continuously. This is expanded to include behaviors like gambling or alcohol that can also happen on ordinary things like exercise and eating. 

More than classifying it as an addiction it is called substance use disorder. No matter whether physical or behavioral, addiction impacts a person’s life. When you use something repeatedly it causes physical brain changes and causes damages and increases the risk of contracting communicable diseases. It can also cause depression or suicide while affecting relationships with family and friends. 

Symptoms of addiction

The signs and symptoms vary from one addiction type to another. When you get addicted you will have an inability to stop. You will have to experience a change in mood and sleep, and you feel preoccupied with the substance or behavior. Moreover, lose interest in other things you used to enjoy and will use increasingly larger amounts of a substance. 

Addiction can be on sex, the internet, games, desire to experience high and it becomes strong losing control and will seek activity despite all the negative consequences. 

Types of addictions

Alcohol addiction 

alcoholic addictions

When individuals use alcohol excessively and repeatedly can lead to alcoholic addiction. It is a real disease that can cause changes in the brain and neurochemistry. A person who is addicted to alcohol will not be able to control their actions. 

The severity depends on how often they drink and the consumption varies from person to person. Some drink heavily all day while some binge drink. If they rely heavily on drinking and can’t stay sober for an extended period of time then they have an alcohol addiction. 

Treating it can be complex and challenging. You can’t force them to stop if they aren’t ready. They need daily care to get rid of it. You can use options like a support group, rehab, drug therapy, counseling, and changes in nutrition to get rid of it. 

Sex addiction

Sex addiction is the lack of control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. The impulse can be natural but the addiction refers to the behavior that is done excessively and impact a person’s life in a negative way. 

This is not listed as a diagnosable condition but excess behavior of sex can develop like a chemical addiction. They will need a compulsive need to be sexually stimulated and this desire will interfere with the ability to live their daily life. 

There are inpatient treatment centers that offer recovery programs to get rid of it and regain control over their impulses and start healing. 

Gambling addiction

gambling addiction

Gambling is when someone risks something of value in the hope to get something that has a greater value. Around 2 million people in the United States are addicted to gambling and this habit interferes with work and social life. It is an uncontrollable urge to do repeatedly. Gambling is addictive because the brain stimulates the reward system of the brain and it is the most common impulse control disorder that is found worldwide. 

These people respond to treatments like pharmacological and psychosocial treatment. The effective treatment can be cognitive behavioral therapy as it teaches relapse prevention skills and how they change habits. 

Shopping addiction

People who are addicted to shopping are called shopaholics. Their behavior of shopping becomes the main way of coping with stress and they continue to shop excessively. Here money issues can occur and it can develop problems related to relationships. Even though it has a negative impact, they will not feel to stop or controlling their spending behavior. 

Getting rid of it can be done on your own or you can benefit from counseling or other therapies. It is better to develop your own spending plan as the first step to reduce the harm of spending and get it under control. 

Video games addiction 

video games

This is a pattern of gaming behavior that gives more priority to gaming over other daily activities. 

Video games too can be addictive when you involve in computer games, arcade machine games, and mobile games. Around 1% to 6% of video gamers result in addiction and it varies across different organizations. Without any officially diagnosed disorder, people sacrifice jobs and marriages to spend 60 hours every week playing games. Especially children and teenagers become attached to video games getting angry at their parents when they are told to put them down. 

To get rid of this addiction, strict limits should be set to access games or you can keep apps or extensions to block your games to a specific time period.  

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