Avoiding the Perils of Mental Addiction
Beyond the realms of addiction that we have commonly known, lies the other ugly truth, that beyond physical dependency, we are also prone to be addicted psychologically. What do we mean by this?
Addiction in itself could have two forms, physical and psychological. Physical addiction starts with dependence, you become accustomed to the new substance or habit, eventually increasing intake. While psychological addiction starts when you feel helpless about your situation, when your emotions come in and all the facets of your life collapses.
You could be physically and mentally addicted to drugs or other substances, but for things like gambling, it could be a different story. Mental addiction is a state wherein you find it very difficult to stop a bad habit that is not affecting you physically. Hence, this is the situation where your willpower is severely tested and mostly fails.
There are several ways to determine when you have mental addiction, outlined below are some of them:
You get extremely anxious on the next time you want to experience the habit, that it forms a pattern of abuse. You borrow money because you need to gamble, until you reach a breaking point.
This happens when you start feeling incomplete if you are not able to do the habit or use the substance. In connection to being physically addicted to weed, you might associate it with being the reason why you are always inspired, hence the inability to function normally without it. If you have watched the movie Limitless, it shows a great example of how psychological dependence happens. Starting with a pill, feeling better about it and doing great things under its influence, until finally you reach the point where you feel that without it, you are nothing.
Your emotions get affected by the addiction, that it could be mood altering. One moment, you are asking your brother nicely if you could borrow money and then be furious immediately, to the point of hurting them. These changes in emotion could happen in one quick moment that most addicts are unable to control their actions as well,
As previously mentioned, it could be rather difficult to just rely on pure willpower to overcome this type of addiction. Severe cases noted would result to a shift on focus, rendering an addict unable to function normally. What we need to keep in mind is that once someone is mentally addicted, detoxification or medicines should not be the only solution.
If a person is addicted to shopping, there are no medicines in the world that would be able to stop her from doing so. What you need to do is to have resources available for her to curb the addiction, which could be any of the following:
This is the reason why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are built. For people with the same addiction to come together and support each other in overcoming their problems. If you are in an environment that thrives in positive reinforcement and will enable you to keep the addiction, then you are definitely on the right track.
There are of course, things that support groups may not be able to address. In essence, this could be the underlying reason of the addiction and how it could be dealt with. This is where therapy comes in, a professional might be able to point you in the right direction towards the improvement that you require.
Inpatient treatment programs
In cases where the addiction is too strong for the individual to at least participate in the programs or seek professional help on his own, in patient treatment programs could be the way to go. This way, the individual and his family will be able to secure the proper atmosphere for rehabilitation to happen. In addition, the support group and therapy session needs will also be addressed.
Love and relationship
The only thing that may enable someone to focus on overcoming a bad habit is if there are people who continuously love them unconditionally. An addict may have had difficulties in handling their relationships positively but it doesn’t mean that we have to discount the idea. The family is still the best support group anyone could ever have.
Mental addiction could take more time to rehabilitate than physical addiction, as it takes root in an underlying problem which could be difficult to uncover. The endless reinforcements and efforts in helping an individual overcome addiction may seem futile at first, but with the proper environment and a little faith, it could start turning things around.