Addictions & Bad Habits

Addictions result when a person uses a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and harmful.

Addictions and bad habits can both interfere with everyday responsibilities and commitments, such as work, relationships, or health.

People who have developed an addiction may not be aware that their behaviour is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

Lifestyle, background and temperament may make us more prone to addictive behaviours and dependency in a variety of areas, such as:

•  Alcohol and excessive drinking
•  Food and overeating
•  Tobacco products and cigarette smoking
•  The use of recreational drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and cannabis
•  Prescription or over the counter drugs
•  Sex or pornography
•  Gambling
•  Exercise.

Addictions, or addictive behaviour is not limited to substances we consume, such as drugs, alcohol, or even chocolate but may include behaviours such as gambling, sex or exercise. In other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence e.g. drug addiction or behavioural addiction e.g. gambling addiction.

When a person is addicted to something they cannot control how they use it, and become dependent on it to cope with daily life.

While many people may regularly use addictive substances or engage in potentially addictive activities without having major problems, in some people it can cause damaging physical and psychological effects. Their behaviour becomes more frequent and intense and turns into an addiction. This occurs as a result of chemical changes in the brain.

If they carry on using the substance or engaging in the behaviour, the brain and body become tolerant and there will be a need more drugs, or to spend more time on the behaviour to get the same effect. What started out as something they were able to control develops into an uncontrollable need or addiction.

Unfortunately “I can stop anytime I want to” is a common misconception that often leads to disaster!

With some substances in particular, an attempt to stop you will result in physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms (or both). Withdrawal symptoms are wide ranging and vary depending on the substance involved. Generally they include feelings of discomfort, distress and an intense craving for the substance.

Withdrawal from alcohol, like heroin, is often particularly difficult because it can be complicated by seizures (fits) and hallucinations.

Addictive behaviour consumes time and money. It can ruin or damage relationships and is harmful to good health.

Some addictions are difficult to treat and can take time and require medical intervention. However hypnotherapy can be particularly effective to help combat the habitual element of most addictions, and to help you make the behavioural changes necessary to kick the habit.

Many people have tried and failed to give up smoking, or to change their relationship with food and to eat less – Hypnotherapy is becoming increasingly popular to help people increase motivation and beat these dependencies.

Whatever the problem please feel free to give me a call so we can discuss how I can help you.

In the case of some addictions I may suggest a visit to your GP as the first step. However you are welcome to come along for an informal chat and a free hypnosis trial session.
Don’t delay, contact me today!

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If you believe you have an addiction you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always inform your primary healthcare professional before starting any complementary or additional therapies or treatments.