ADDICTION

As beautiful and miraculous as life can be, it can also be merciless in its ability to overwhelm the human mind. Sometimes it’s school. Sometimes it’s work or an unfortunate lack thereof. Sometimes it’s relationship problems. Sometimes it’s a traumatic experience. All in all, it’s something that sticks with us no matter how hard we try to shake it off. Whatever the source of stress may be, the way in which we respond and cope is extremely crucial. Though, much more often than people may think, the temptation of a shortcut or quick fix tends to take hold.

Sometimes it’s easier to turn to a substance (e.g., drugs, alcohol) or engage in an activity (e.g., gambling, stress-eating) in order to gain an immediate, yet temporary, sense of pleasure. Over time, the repeated decision to do so can lead to a physical or psychological dependence that interferes with and invades one’s personal life, relationships, and/or professional endeavors. With the public so hasty to shame “addicts”, and law enforcement officials eager to lock up those struggling with illegal addictions, people suffering from such conditions face an unnecessarily difficult road to recovery.

 

Below, we’ve provided a brief description of addiction. Additionally, we’ve included links to sites that contain more detailed information or relevant articles. As we’ve stressed consistently throughout the site, if you think you or someone you know is experiencing an addiction or any mental illness, seek help immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Causes

There is more to addiction than simply finding an escape from the challenges of life. Additional causes that are known to aggravate or trigger the condition include but may not be limited to:

  1. Alterations to the brain that affect how different organs in the brain’s reward system (the system that creates pleasure, desire, and positive reinforcement) interact with one another

  2. Genetics/family history of addiction

    • Gender and ethnicity can influence certain addictions

  3. The individuals and surroundings of one’s life

  4. Age—if an addiction starts at a young age, it is much more dangerous because the adolescent brain is still in development, and the effects of the affliction are much more difficult to reverse

  5. The presence of another mental illness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms

  1. A growing obsession for, and tolerance to, the pleasure received from the addiction

  2. Alienating one’s self from close friends and family that might grow suspicious, and associating with people and surroundings that can help satisfy the addiction

  3. A reduced ability to discern right from wrong; the regression of one’s emotional responsiveness

  4. Behavioral changes such as an increased appetite, insomnia, being prone to violence and risk-taking, limited focus, sadness, etc.

  5. A noticeable disinterest in activities that were once satisfying

  6. The belief that one cannot function without a particular dosage of the addiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment

  1. Psychotherapy

  2. Addiction treatment/rehabilitation programs

  3. Medication

  4. Being administered dosages of an addictive substance in stages of gradual reduction until it’s out of a patient’s system

  5. Getting educated on the condition and ultimately learning that there are better, healthier ways to feel pleasure and happiness

  6. Prevention: limit the addiction before it gets worse

Sources/links we utilized

Credit: Crash Course Psychology
Credit: Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell

© 2019 by MannMukti