What does it mean to be “Addicted”?

What does it mean to be addicted

What does it mean to be “Addicted”?

People often throw around the word “Addicted.” “I’m so addicted to this new iPhone app”, they’ll say, or “I’m addicted to green tea Frappuccino’s.”  But what does it actually mean to be addicted?

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Scientific basis

There is a scientific basis behind addiction. Addiction is closely linked to the “reward” pathway in our brain. This is the pathway that is activated when something good happens normally- exercise, sex, and chocolate can all trigger this pathway. Drugs of abuse cause an extreme reaction in this pathway, causing an overproduction of so-called “pleasure chemicals” in the brain. Over time, the pathway adapts to the constant influx of these chemicals. It stops producing as many chemicals in response to the drugs (and any other pleasurable event) and the reward pathway also becomes less responsive to the chemicals. When the drugs are stopped or significantly reduced, the individual experiences depression, anxiety, and drug craving.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? DSM-V

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), is the “bible” of addiction professionals, it is used almost universally to diagnose (and get insurance reimbursement for) behavioral-health problems. They lay out seven criteria for the diagnosis of an addiction to a substance. Basically, according to the definition, to be “Addicted” you must demonstrate a pattern of tolerance and withdrawal and continuing to use a substance despite negative consequences.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Behavioral addictions

For a long time, to be “Addicted” referred to an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. More recently, we have come to realize that people can develop addictions to behaviors such as gambling, shopping, eating, or sex. There is still some controversy about whether a behavioral addiction constitutes actually being “Addicted.” More research needs to be done, but as of now, these behavioral addictions are not classified as a disease by the DSM-IV.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? What makes it an addiction?

So if you can be “Addicted” to anything, what makes it an addiction? All addictions share two main characteristics. First the addictive behavior is maladaptive or counter-productive to the person. Instead of helping a person adapt to situations or deal with problems, it tends to undermine these abilities. fastest payout online casino nz

The second characteristic of what it means to be “Addicted” is that the behavior is persistent. When someone is “Addicted,” they will continue to engage in the behavior, despite negative repercussions.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Other characteristics

Other characteristics that are shared by people who are “Addicted” include:

1. Loss of control over the impulse to engage in addiction

2. Inability to stop addiction, despite sincere efforts. If the individual can stop, they are unable to stay stopped.

3. Continuing with addictive behavior even when the individual no longer enjoys the addiction

4. When forcibly separated from the addiction, the individual will either obsess over the subject of the addiction, or engage in some other obsessive behavior in place of the original addiction.

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