Coming in many guises and often catching you (or someone close to you) unaware, addiction is often described as ‘anything you engage in to a compulsive level that creates gratifying brain stimuli’.  

There are many foods, drinks, substances, activities and behaviours, which create cravings and sometimes adrenaline rushes that are easy to become addicted to.  

Below are examples of some of the daily activities you may find yourself consciously or unconsciously relying on;  

  • Internet, phone and computers
  • Shopping 
  • Sugar (chocolate, fizzy drinks, sweet things) 
  • Tobacco (nicotine) 
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol 
  • Sex 
  • Drugs – prescription and non prescription 
  • Pornography
  • Gambling
  • Self-harm
  • Food (eating)
  • Exercising
  • Working
  • Playing video games
  • Seeking pleasure from pain
  • Spiritual obsession
  • Any continuous adrenaline high

If any of the activities from the above list resonate with you (or you know someone who they may apply to), then maybe it’s time to ask what kind of ‘relationship’ you experience with whatever it is you have identified with.  And from this whether or not you may be addicted to it…

Something else to maybe consider, is that whatever you find yourself compulsively relying upon, could also frequently be where you look for some sort of (short-term) comfort.  Almost like a close friend.  

More often than not however, your compulsion towards addictive behaviors could potentially bring with it negative and often-noticeable life changes, undesirable consequences and outcomes. 

If you (or someone close to you) are struggling with emotional instability, have a history of abuse and are behaving in ways that leave you potentially susceptible to becoming addicted, then these are some of the signs you could be experiencing; 

  • Denying the existence of a problem.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Obsessing about your addiction. 
  • Craving whatever it is that stimulates you.
  • Talking about your activity continuously.
  • Trying to get other parties involved in your addictive behaviour.
  • Blaming other peoples perceptions of your addictive behaviour on them. 
  • Engaging in the addictive behaviour to the detriment of all external relationships.
  • Being unable to control your behaviour, leading you to engage in your addiction more and more.
  • Seeking out and engaging in whatever it is you are addicted to, even if it hurts and is damaging to yourself and your wellbeing.
  • There is failure when attempting to stop the addictive behaviour – known as a relapse.

If you are struggling and find your day-to-day life becoming affected through being compulsively engaged in an activity to the exclusion of everything else around you, now may be the time to reach out for help and support…