The term addiction has evolved over time and now represents something much different than it did even a decade ago. In the public, addiction is often related to the ingestion of a particular substance which is considered to be harmful and negatively interferes with a person's life and health.
This definition of addiction includes all types of substances from alcohol to illegal or prescription drugs. It may also include the use of chemicals or other types of materials used in inhaling, smoking or ingesting for the purposes of obtaining the “high” associated with using these compounds.
However, addiction also has a behavioural component as well. People can become addicted to engaging in a particular behaviour which is in and of itself is a part of normal daily life. This can include addictions to:
- Internet or technology
What Triggers Addictive Behaviours?
Research has begun to unearth the specific environmental and physiological reasons why some people tend to have a higher risk of addiction than others. While some substances are highly addictive with even their first use because of the changes they cause in brain chemistry, other addictions develop over time and with repeated use.
In addition, it is not simply pleasure seeking or escape that initially causes the use of addictive substances or negative and harmful behaviours. Instead, it is a complicated combination of factors which often include environmental triggers, stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues as well as a genetic predisposition to addiction. For these individuals, it is the psychological issues driving the addiction, not just a physiological or behavioural response. With these clients it is not uncommon for the focus of the addiction to change over time and throughout life unless the root cause is treated.
Treating an addiction is more than just stopping the problematic behaviour or finding another more socially acceptable behaviour. Instead, treatment requires understanding the root cause of the addiction and why an individual sees the addiction as an effective coping strategy. Often this includes processing and closely looking at dysfunctional family issues, trauma from childhood or perhaps trauma and abuse in a more recent relationship.
For many people with addictions there are concurrent mental health issues present which may not be identified. The most common of these are depression, anxiety, trauma and stress, all which can lead to changes in the brain chemistry. Through psychotherapy and counselling, it is possible to learn the trigger or the underlying issue which is causing the anger, frustration, depression or stress and learn more effective and healthier ways to cope with these issues.
With extensive experience in working with clients with addictions of all types, Philippe Jacquet & associates in here to help. With compassion, understanding and a holistic treatment approach in an out-patient setting clients will set goals, learn about their addiction, and also learn more effective lifelong coping mechanisms to continue on their path of recovery.