It is common to come across someone who says that he can’t go through the day without smoking a couple of cigarettes. There are some who might say that they can’t help taking drugs or painkillers ; This situation -being dependent of a certain element- is known by addiction. Well, there is a list of addictions ; the addicted person to a certain element, ingredient or activity is helpless in front of it and can only be on it or at it. Amazingly, there are causes of addiction as many as there are types of addiction. Yet, there are some common causes which are shared among all addict person.
What is addiction:
Addiction is the fact of being tightly related to some elements in order to perform activity or achieve certain performance. The most frequent aspects of addiction are smoking and drugs addictions. The reality about this behavior is that there are a physiological -neuro physiological- process that leads to the addictive state. The addicting factor provokes several changes in the way the brain reacts and may dramatically alter its homeostasis.
For short, addiction is the way that the brain reacts to the administration -equally the practice- of certain elements -equally some behaviors.
Physiology of the addicted:
The nerve system is contains neurons. These neurons communicate with each others and through synapses using neurotransmitters. There are some neurotransmitters which are known for their good effects; they are released as rewards at particular situations and they induce feeling of contentment. Moreover they can induce the ecstasy feeling. The repetitive administration of the ingredient would have the effect of stimulating the release of thee ecstasy neurotransmitters; the nerve system will be seeking the ecstasy. Afterward, the release of the neurotransmitters would only be under the control of the outer factor and then, the brain become addicted to that stimulator.
Physical addiction vs mental addiction:
Physical addiction refers to physical factors as causes of addiction. Generally, there some ingredients which are said to be very addictive. Smoking and alcohol contain ingredients -nicotine and esters- that may interact with the nerve system. The reality is that everything that may trigger a massive release of the ecstasy neurotransmitters can be listed as one of the numerous causes of addiction.
By this definition, psychological and physical causes of addiction share the results parameter: both induce contentment and happiness. Though the behavior can be unhealthy and maladaptive, the subject feels satisfaction while in action and the feeling can last for a while. The overall statement of psychology about addiction is that it is a psychological disorder, since the subject has definite conviction about the relationship between what he is doing and the ecstasy he is seeking, yet the behavior is described as maladaptive.
Common causes of addiction:
There are several factors that have been reported as causes of addiction. The commonly described are:
- Drugs: the addictive ingredient is naturally produced by the brain but at very low rate.
- Smoking: nicotine is the addictive ingredient; here again, the brain produces its own compound of nicotine but at healthy dosages.
- Gaming: the behavior is definitely unhealthy; the subject is unable to behave normally and is always in front of his gaming console.
- Painkiller: the analgesic property of some compound released by the brain can be counterbalanced by a high dosage of painkillers; this result in several mental disorders.
The causes of addiction act as stimulator; they target specific neurons and they trigger the release of relatively abnormal rate of neurotransmitters. The first time the dose is enough to induce the ecstatic state. After several times, the neurons become insensitive to that dosage and therefore the subject -in quest of the feeling- tends to increase the dosage. After a long period, the subject can become completely insensitive physically but remain highly addicted mentally.