7 Types Of Addiction | Are You An Addict?

Addiction presents in various ways. It occurs when your relationship with a certain substance or activity gains control of your life, negatively impacting many aspects of your daily life and functioning, such as work and relationships.

This dependency on something else, a key factor of addiction, can often be a way of escaping from difficult emotions and other problems you are experiencing.

7 Types Of Addiction

There are many different types of addiction. Although you may be aware of the harmful effects of addiction on your health, you may find it impossible to stay away from a particular substance or activity. Here are some of the most common presentations:

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction refers to behaviours of compulsive, uncontrollable drug seeking and subsequent drug use, despite the damaging effects on health. Consistent drug use can lead to changes in brain areas responsible for self-control, making it hard to resist strong cravings to take drugs. You may be using drugs as a way to cope with stress, anxiety and depression.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction refers to an uncontrollable urge to drink and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, in order to cope with certain life events, or manage your emotions. You may be using alcohol as a way of relaxing, or escaping from stress and depression. This pattern of behaviour may leave you feeling dependent on alcohol, and as a result you may find it hard to control in your life without it.

Food Addiction

Food activates the same hedonic centre in the brain, as cocaine and alcohol. You may find it impossible to stop eating certain foods despite not feeling hungry, or eating excessive amounts of food to the extent that you feel sick. You may also experience withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and agitation, when you stop eating particular foods.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is similar to drug or alcohol addiction as it activates the same reward system in the brain. It refers to any sexual activity that feels ‘out of control’, such as obsessive use of pornography, promiscuous sexual activity where you put yourself at risk and the compulsive use of sex chat lines. Like other addictions, sex addiction interferes with other aspects of your daily living, such as work and relationships.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction can have a huge impact on your health and relationships, and leave you feeling depressed and isolated. Gambling addiction often involves excessive gambling of large amounts of money, usually more than you can afford, which leaves you in debt.

Shopping Addiction

If you feel out of control with your shopping behaviour, and you shop regularly to the extent that you experience financial problems, or neglect other aspects of our life, you may be struggling with shopping addiction. You may be using shopping as a way of coping with distressing situations, or escaping from painful emotions.

Video Game Addiction

There are two main types of video game addiction; standard video games where you strive for beating a high score or completing a mission, and online multiplayer games. These are played online together with other people and they usually have no ending. You may be using such games as a way of escaping from reality or to feel accepted by others.

If you are struggling with addiction, it is important that you seek treatment. Your symptoms, even when they are severe, can improve with the right interventions.

Our team at EmotionMatters can help you get your life back on track. We have a multidisciplinary team who can help you overcome addiction:

Psychotherapists – talking therapy to explore underlying causes of addiction and to work on restructuring your daily routine

Nutritional Therapy – diet, lifestyle and health interventions to balance your body chemistry

Psychiatry – medical assessment and medications

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