Common Themes in Addictions

It doesn’t matter whether the addiction is to substances, gambling, alcohol, shopping or sex. All those with an addiction share common things:

1. Strong Feelings – Everyone has a wide range of feelings that can be positive or negative. People who lead with their feelings, however, often end up living in the ditch! I have found, over the years that many of my clients who suffer from an addiction state that their anxiety motivates them to turn to unhealthy coping strategies. Their unmanageable feels often play a key role in their addiction pattern.

2. Lack of skills – Those who don’t know how to deal with their feelings in a healthy way, look for alternate methods. For example, someone who has problems with relationships and doesn’t have a good self-image, might be a likely candidate to become a workaholic. They might become very valuable in the workplace and learn specific work skills but doesn’t solve their other personal problems.

3. Enablers – Most people with addictions can name the person who first introduced them to the substance or activity that led to an addiction. They also usually have people in their lives who have contributed to or allowed the addiction to continue with their inappropriate behaviours.

4. Fantasy and Cravings – When a person is thinking about the addiction in an obsessive manner and has cravings to use their focus is not available for their responsibilities.

5. Detachment – Sometimes it may seem like the addict has two people living inside. There is the public person who presents well and the private person who is involved in a secret lifestyle. In many cases, the person has been able to detach one from the other and sometimes even doesn’t remember doing specific things because they have become so good at separating the two. This is common with a number of problem areas such as eating disorders and sexual addictions.

6. Tolerance – Over time, the amount or strength of a substance or activity that is needed to produce a high will need to be increased in order to get the same effect. Those who begin by looking at pornography, for example, may increasingly require more frequent or more powerful images. Some may advance into chat lines and affairs, begin hiring prostitutes or add violence to their sexual experiences.

7. Withdrawal – Distress can occur when the addiction is not fed. A person may become frustrated, angry or unable to function when they are abstaining. Withdrawal can be physiological and/or psychological in nature.

8. Consequences – Those with addictions often also experience relationship problems, financial and employment issues, legal encounters, deteriorating health, shame and self-loathing. Over time, their lives can become unmanageable.

9. Defense Mechanisms – Denial, projection, blaming, repression, rationalization, intellectualization, minimization, deflection and manipulation are some of the ways that the person avoids facing reality and getting treatment.

10. Temptations – A person who is addicted has formed a life that promotes the addiction. Their friends, activities, schedule and habits all revolve around the addiction. S/he are able to get a shot-term “fix” easily as that has been their pattern. Recovery therefore involves facing one day at a time, knowing that commitment to change long-term will be difficult.

11. Opportunities to change – It doesn’t matter where one goes in the world, there are supports and resources to help the person who is addicted. But that person has to be ready and willing to change. Alcoholics Anonymous, group therapy, public agencies and private therapists are only a phone call away. Employers offer Employee Assistant programs and insurance companies usually recognize addiction as a medical issue that qualifies for disability benefits.

12. People who love them – If you are worried about someone who is involved with an addiction, you need help. You cannot change another person but you can work on yourself. The best thing you can do today is book an appointment with a psychologist who specializes in addictions so you can begin working on your healthy future.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Addictions

Every individual has their own addiction whether it is an addiction over food and drinks, shopping, or even on prohibited drugs. Some people find it helpful for them to be addicted over something as the addiction helps in achieving their self-esteem, building self-confidence, and a way to relax their nerves. Some also get addicted over something because it is through their addiction wherein they could release their stress all out. The problem for them is, when they are hindered on doing their addiction, their anxiety level increases and thus causing them to become violent.

Addiction is classified into two, positive and negative addiction. A positive addiction is an addiction that is beneficial to oneself. Avery common example of positive addiction is exercise, living a healthy lifestyle and doing humanitarian acts. While for the negative addiction, it is an addiction wherein it is detrimental to the self such as shopping, taking drugs, compulsive eating, gambling, excessive drinking and a lot more. These forms of habits not only destroy the body but it also destroys the self.

In women, their most common form of addiction is shopping. Shopping over shoes, clothes and bags is a delight for women. For them, they find shopping as a form of stress reliever, an outlet of their anger and being in a depressing situation. The negative thing about shopping though is that some of the clothes or shoes or bags and whatever they shop for will no longer be used since it is no longer the fad or no longer fits them leading to putting bulk in the closet.

Another very common form of addiction that is present in both men and women is being an excessive drinker of alcoholic beverages. Occasionally drinking is not bad, it only becomes detrimental when it becomes a habit or is being practiced every single day. Many individuals love to drink alcoholic beverages because it is through drinking that they could release their hidden emotions. Some drink for the purpose of escaping reality and some to forget their problems. Whenever someone gets drunk, there is a feeling of euphoria and numbness all over the body that even the best stun gun will not work on him when you stun him. The stun gun effects are useless when you use them on individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Gambling when not controlled can become an addiction. Again, people gamble for entertainment purposes. Gambling becomes a problem when an individual seems to have no control and just keeps on wasting money on games of luck and chances. It is good to engage in activities like this but always bear in mind that once is enough if you want to spare money for the future of your family and yourself.

Compulsive eating and smoking are also addictions by many individuals almost in all parts of the world. Like any other forms of addiction, it also releases stress and anxiety and tends to give an individual pleasure. It is through eating wherein depressed people can pour out all their emotions either grief or anger and when not overcome, will become a habit. Smoking is probably one of the habits that are hard to break especially for those chain smokers. The only way to fully stay away from this is to slowly detach the self from smoking and learning to discipline the self.

We all just need to control ourselves in order for us not to become addicted over something. All we need is proper discipline and always bear in mind that there are a lot of good addictions in the world that will not harm our body and will provide us with a better future.

Addictions To Gambling on The Rise!

Over the past five years addictions to gambling have grown at an accelerated rate. Not only adults, but teenagers are gambling with out realizing the consequences. Most States including Connecticut have created agreements with Indian reservations for self gain. The states are now realizing the negative impact the Indian casino reservations are having on their taxpayers.

Gambling is a silent addiction. Most people can go years with out anyone ever discovering that they gambled. Besides the local Casino’s people can now even gamble online.

With today’s modern technology, if you want to gamble you can so long as you have the resources. Once your resources are depleted and you’re in debt, you will begin to seek help. This is where many states are taking notice due to people claiming bankruptcy, not paying their state taxes, getting caught committing petty crimes and even suicide.

The I Stopped Gambling So Can You website continues to receive alarming emails from friends family and the compulsive gambler. The site was developed to help people associated with compulsive gambling addiction.

The alarming rate in the rise of addicted individuals has caused the states to rethink what they are doing and how to help this segment of the population. The individuals who sought help through various programs now know they are not alone. The unfortunate part is in most cases they are starting all over. If the States would reach out and help these people then the outcomes may be different.

If a person goes into a bar and is apparently drunk, the bartenders are not going to serve this person any alcoholic drinks and may even recommend a cab. At a casino, people use the cash machines until they are unable to take out any more money. People cash checks and even take cash advances from their credit cards, but no one at the casinos is willing to step up to the plate and help these people out.

I have talked with hundreds of people who excessively gambled. These people knew they were addicted and always planned to spend a specific amount of money. After being at the casinos with all the lights, bells and whistles they fell into a trance and no longer had any control.

Once the gambler leaves the casino reality sets in. They now realize they’ve lost a lot of money. They ask themselves: How did this happen? They themselvesthey will never due this again only to repeat the same behavior patterns over and over until they hit bottom and lose everything. These people were spending anywhere from $100.00 to $5,000.00 per week on their addiction. In a majority of these situations they realized they lost everything. Even after filing bankruptcy they still owed a significant amount in back taxes.

The State of Connecticut receives revenues from their two Indian Run Casinos. If a taxpayer wins a Jackpot equal to or greater than $1,200.00 and resides in Connecticut they will be subject to Connecticut State Tax. The Internal Revenue Service lets you deduct your winnings against your losses but not in Connecticut.

The various states are now realizing they created a major problem, but are not willing to discuss it openly. Various news stations have been reporting the negative impact, but due to the revenues generated, no one is willing to step up to the plate and help these people out.

Until the local authorities take action, many lives will continue to be destroyed.

Future articles will address the compulsive gambler, gambling addiction and a search to find a solution to this growing problem.

You may find the following websites helpful:

I Stopped Gambling So Can You

http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

Compulsive Gambling Addiction

[http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/][http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/]