When most people think about addiction, they may typically refer to drug or alcohol addiction. There are other types of addictions that affect all different types of people form different parts of the world. According to Webster, the definition of addiction is a “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.” Someone is addicted when they are compelled to use something over and over that may be harmful.
There are many different types of addictions but the most common are probably addiction to some type of substance like alcohol, drugs or food. These addictive behaviors tend to alter a person’s brain chemistry. When a person is addicted to a substance and does not continue consuming that substance, they will likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal tends to be unpleasant and users will consume more of a substance in order to avoid it.
Other common addictions may be based in a certain type of behavior or activity that produces a positive feeling or brings pleasure. With these type of addictions, the user engages in them repeatedly to get the high or thrill that is part of the activity or behavior. Some of these addictions include addictions to sex, pornography, online games, e-mail or something as innocuous as bingo.
Engaging in any of these behaviors or activities may not be a problem when done in moderation. Addiction occurs when engaging in these same activities or behaviors interferes with the normal activities of everyday life. For example, if the urge to continue playing online games could cause the loss of your job and you play them anyway, then playing these games may be an addiction for you. Feeling anxious or depressed when unable to engage in these activities or behaviors may also be a symptom of addiction.
Remember that many normal everyday activities like enjoying a drink or two at the end of a hard day may be not be considered addictive or risky to some people, but this same activity would be very risky for someone recovering from addiction to alcohol. Also, some people may develop addictions over a long period of time without ever realizing it or having any type of problems. A person who must stop drinking coffee due to a health condition may suddenly realize the presence of a caffeine addiction. The key to overcoming an addiction of any kind is to learn about the processes and signs of addiction before they cause problems.