Addiction is the inability to stop engaging in a behaviour or using a substance despite it causing psychological harm. Addictions can be to substances such as drugs and alcohol, or a behaviour such as gambling, video games, and working. These habits become a part of daily life, and eventually consume individuals, with the addictive activity becoming a dominant presence. An estimated 21% of the population experience some form of addiction in their lifetime, however men are more likely to be affected than women. Common signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Changes appearance
- Lying about habits to loved ones
- Extreme changes in mood
- Difficulty reducing or stopping the behaviour
- Obsessing over the next engagement with the activity or drug
- Disrupted sleeping patterns
Addictions can also lead to other mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in helping individuals with addiction and other mental health concerns change negative behaviours and reframe thoughts. Motivational Enhancement Therapy is also effective in helping people reduce ambivalence and improve motivation to engage in healthy habits. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, book an appointment with one of our therapists today.