When we talk about the term ‘Addiction’, a common picture that comes to our mind is of an alcoholic, or someone who is a drug addict. Addiction is mostly associated to drugs, when in real it is more than that.
People still don’t understand the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ behind the addictions hence there are so many misconceptions about it. The first one is ‘Addictions are only related to drugs.’ Also, there are so many people who believe people who take drugs or are addicted to something negative, lack moral values and will power, when in reality, addiction is a complex disease and it takes a lot more than just good will to let it go.
Generally, as I have stated earlier, we associate addiction with drugs. Addiction can be of so many types, you can be addicted to a bad habit, you can be addicted to a toxic person or a relationship, you can be addicted to anything which gives you immense pleasure and alters the state of your mind. Anything which causes harm to you and you can’t stop sucking pleasure out of it, is titled as ‘Drug’ and your wish to ingest it in any part of your body is known as ‘Addiction’.
Addicts aren’t hard to find, we often see people around us hopelessly addicted to something, just take a simple example, a month ago when I was preparing for my first proff semester exams, I, in my mind and heart, knew very well that this is the high time where I should keep all my focus on my studies, I kept on wasting my time on netflix, watching random series, this is a type of addiction. A lot of you can relate to this because almost everyone of us finds social media more attractive when exams are on our heads. This is a common type of addiction, you know whatever you are doing is going to screw you up in the end but you aren’t able to stay away from it.
Similarly, a relationship can be your addiction too. There are countless people out there who find pleasure in hanging on to the people who are toxic to them, because they are addicted to them. Deep inside they know they are destroying themselves, but it gives them an immense pleasure to throw into that deep hole, destroying themselves gives them joy. This is another form of addiction.
Basically, these addictions attracts one towards something which is comparatively bigger than the previous addictions, to let them go, to let the pain go. This is the reason why people go towards drugs, they need something bigger than their pain. To let go of one addiction, you need another addiction that too bigger than previous one. Strong emotions like rage, jealousy, fear and hopelessness make some people feel helpless. To quell these uncomfortable feelings, abusers turn to drugs or alcohol.
At first, turning to substances to soothe unpleasant feelings is a choice. No one wakes up in the morning and decides they’re going to become a substance abuser or engage in a life-threatening compulsion. However, at some point, the behavior or drug of choice becomes a necessary ritual and takes over as the primary method of relieving strong feelings.
Psychological symptoms of addiction can be understood and treated, but not by dealing with them as lack of motivation or faulty thinking. Just getting clean and sober may not address the actual psychology of addiction. While breaking the physiological need for the drug, this does not break the person’s desire to “escape” everyday life. Breaking psychological addiction requires a commitment to understanding the root causes of one’s personal addictive behavior and getting free from the destructive cycle. One of the hardest aspects of breaking psychological addiction is confronting unpleasant emotions, situations and people instead of avoiding them. This may mean taking positive, productive and proactive steps to manage a situation rather than swallowing the uncomfortable emotions it evokes and ending up in a binge.
Addiction to drugs and alcohol should be treated as a psychological issue in order to end it completely. Understanding the psychology behind addictions allows us to help those with addictions overcome their problem and begin to live again.