People can become addicted to many different things, for many different reasons, and it can be hard to know if you have a problem. Generally we see something as an addiction if someone feels unable to stop the behaviour, or experiences ongoing problems caused by the behaviour, for example missing work due to hangovers, spending more than you can afford on gambling or becoming physically sick or depressed due to drug use.
Commonly we think of alcohol and drugs when we think of addictions, but people can also become addicted to gambling or sexual behaviour (pornography or visiting sex workers) for example.
Why do people become addicted?
Often people will turn to an addiction because of stress or perhaps a lack of other ways of managing stress or painful emotions but sometimes, particularly with alcohol or other commonly used drugs, just using the drug frequently enough can cause a physical dependence that also needs to be assessed and treated. This can happen with prescription drugs as well, where people “self medicate.”
If this becomes the only way we have of dealing with distressing emotions then the solution can become the problem, and the consequences of our use outweighs any short term benefit.
Psychotherapy will help you figure out what problems you are trying to solve with your addictive behaviour, and what emotions “trigger” you to engage in that behavior. Sometimes the person may be in denial about there use and their friends and family may need help to support them to talk to the person with the problem. Our specialists can help with that too.
Frequently when people seek help for any addiction they need help to solve other problems in their lives, and need to re-learn skills to help them manage their emotions and close relationships. All our therapists are trained in techniques that can assist you to better manage your emotions and your relationships.