When we think of addiction, we tend to think of drug or alcohol addiction, and while these are common issues, there are other addictions to be aware of as well. Consider the following addictions.
Millions of people suffer from sex addiction. Sex addiction exhibits in many different ways, but one of the most common is an addiction to pornography. Sex addicts often masturbate compulsively throughout the day, and they also put themselves in dangerous situations such as by having one-night-stands with strangers or paying for sex. Like any other addiction, sex addicts are unable to control their behavior and most people need help to stop. Visit the Sex Addicts Anonymous website to learn more about sex addiction.
Chemical Dependency — Alcohol or Drug Addiction
Alcohol and drug addictions are serious, life-threatening diseases and addicts deserve compassion, respect, and treatment. Yet addictions such as these still carry a stigma in our society that make it difficult for addicts to seek treatment as they fear judgment and dread coming clean about their behavior. Feelings of shame such as this only cause them to drink or use even more, which is why recovery is the only way to end this horrible cycle. While you cannot force a loved one into treatment, you can make your feelings known and you can set clear boundaries to protect yourself from their addiction.
It isn’t easy to kick the butt for good, especially if cigarettes have always been a source of solace and comfort for you. As scary as cancer is, some people find the thought of life without cigarettes even scarier. Tobacco addiction is a serious and real issue, and most people need the support of others (including the help of a therapist or a quit-smoking program) in order to dump the habit for good. Quitting with a friend or utilizing a support group such as this is a good way to kick the habit for good, as is seeking a therapy to find out why you might be smoking in the first place.
It’s hard to believe but food can be as addictive as cigarettes or alcohol. Tasty, satisfying food causes feel-good chemicals to be released into the brain that make the eater feel like they are on cloud nine, and this explains why some people have a hard time simply walking away from that third piece of cake. Overeaters Anonymous offers support to those who need help with their food addiction.
Addiction to Internet
Some people can’t resist the lure of the Internet. While others can enjoy the web for what it is, others obsessively check their email, log into their social networking pages, or sleep with their smartphones by their pillow. Internet addiction is a real and serious problem, and it is one that is fast-growing in our technological society. Whether you are addicted to online social media or cyber porn or even just surfing the net, an addiction to Internet can chip away at your happiness and your ability to function in the real world. Visit NetAddiction.com.
Addiction to TV or Video Games
How many hours of TV do you watch a day? While we all love to watch our favorite shows, some people build their entire lives around their television watching, or around their video games. Like any other addiction, the addict is powerless over his drug of choice, even as it poisons his relationships, his self-esteem, and his future.
Many people joke about being addicted to outlet malls or the sales rack at their favorite boutique, but the truth is that some people are literally addicted to shopping. The rush they get from shopping and spending money is a high like any other, and each purchase (no matter how unnecessary it might be) gives them an intense feeling of pleasure.
Millions of Americans suffer from addiction, and now that the Internet has brought gambling right into our living rooms, many people are now dealing with serious gambling addictions. Gambling is a vicious cycle, as many gamblers get caught in the trap of thinking “just one more game,” and it gives a rush that is very similar to drug/alcohol use. Visit the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery for help.
Pornography addiction is an offshoot of sex addiction. The addict has a compulsive, uncontrollable need to look at pornography, even to the detriment of their marriage, finances, reputation, and health. People who are addicted to pornography find themselves putting their habit above all else, and shame and embarrassment often keeps them from coming forward and seeking help.
The bottom line is that addiction is a real, serious concern, no matter what the addiction is. Most people need help in order to stop their behavior and get back on a healthy track once again, and this is why recovery and support groups are so crucial. Most importantly, people suffering from addictions need to ask for help and accept the love and support of their friends and family, even when it’s hard to come clean about their behavior and make themselves vulnerable. Remember, recovery is possible…it takes hard work and a commitment to change.