What is addiction?

What is addiction?

Each one of us will have something we use as a fix. A go-to when we want to get away from what frustrates us, to chill out, release tension or awaken our senses. This in itself should not pose a problem (depending on your fix of choice!), it is when we can not function properly in our daily lives with, or without the ‘fix’ that the problems start.  

Some believe addiction to purely mean a physical dependency. This would mean one could only be addicted to substances that create physical and/or psychological change in your body, such as alcohol, drugs (both prescriptive and illicit), and other chemically effective substances such as caffeine and nicotine.

It is now however becoming much more widely accepted that psychological dependency can, and in fact should, be classified as addiction. This would then broaden the range of things one could be termed as ‘addicted’ to. Things such as work, sex, the gym, pornography, food or gambling to name but a few. 

Addiction can be looked at in a different way, a more subjective, and in my opinion, a more rounded way. If we look at how a person functions in all aspects of their life we can start to see if there is any imbalance that creates physical, social or psychological difficulty. If so that person could be presenting signs of an addiction. One other, and perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of addiction is being unable to stop using the ‘fix’ even if it is causing harm.

Further reading

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