AddictionsAddiction refers to any obsessional behavior which can impair happy healthy functioning. Addiction to a substance or activity often develops after a need to reduce stress and emotional discomfort and/or even physical pain. The most common addictions include drug and alcohol abuse. There are many more such as gambling, shopping, internet use, pornography, or sexual addiction.

Human being are extremely well versed with creating habits, but some of us are more vulnerable to addiction because of hereditary factors and environments of substance abuse, or one or more mental health issues. Most people with an addiction require some form of professional treatment to help break free from their addictive behaviour. This is where counselling can help.

Research shows addictions often occur as a result of unresolved emotional problems. If you do not address and resolve these emotional problems addictions can escalate over time, destroying your life and relationships.

During the counselling process, an Alegna Solutions psychologist will aim to uncover the cause of your addiction and discover the trigger points for addictive behaviour. They will also take the relevant steps in helping you to control the addiction so it doesn’t control you. This includes breaking addictive patterns, learning coping strategies to manage day to day pressures, and changing negative thinking patterns.

Symptoms of Addiction:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at work or home
  • Deteriorating relationships as a result of the addictive behaviour
  • An inability to cut down or stop the addiction, often with several unsuccessful attempts
  • Feeling distressed or irritable without the substance (withdrawal) and feeling “normal” when you resume use
  • Needing increasing doses of the substance to achieve the same effect
  • Organising events and commitments around periods of substance use
  • An inability to cope with everyday life without the substance

Types of Addiction:

  • Substances
  • Behavioural
  • Impulse Control Disorders

List of Addictions to Substances

Substance use disorders in the DSM-IV-TR provide a list of addictions relating to the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids (like heroin)
  • Prescription drugs (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics like sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (like methamphetamine, known as meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)
  • Other unspecified substances

List of Impulse Control Disorders

The DSM-IV-TR lists disorders where impulses cannot be resisted, which could be considered a type of addiction. The following is a list of the recognized impulse control disorders:

  • Intermittent explosive disorder (compulsive aggressive and assaultive acts)
  • Kleptomania (compulsive stealing)
  • Pyromania (compulsive setting of fires)
  • Gambling

List of Addictions – Behavioral

It has been suggested one of the types of addictions is behavioral addiction. The following is a list of behaviors that have been noted to be addictive:

  • Food (eating)
  • Sex
  • Pornography (attaining, viewing)
  • Using computers / the internet/texting
  • Playing video games
  • Working
  • Exercising
  • Spiritual obsession (as opposed to religious devotion)
  • Pain (seeking)
  • Cutting
  • Shopping