What’s your addiction?
Although professionals and scientists often disagree on what exactly counts as an “addiction” – people can experience problems with misuse, overuse, or compulsive use of a range of substances and behaviours which ‘feel’ like an addiction, including alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, over-exercising, using pornography, sex etc.
12 million people in the UK suffer from compulsive overeating to some extent.
More than 9 million people in England drink more alcohol than the recommended daily limits.
In 2015/16, around 1 in 12 adults aged 16 to 59 had taken an illicit drug in the last year – this equates to around 2.7 million people.
48% of respondents have gambled in the past four weeks according to a report complied in Feb 2017 by UK Gambling Commission.
An American study revealed that 80% of participants with a sexual addiction suffered emotional trauma or sexual abuse during their childhood.
Reasons to become addicted
When you are young you are vulnerable and more likely to start drinking and using drugs, and maintain the habit into early adulthood. Statistics have shown that those who start to drink alcohol at a younger age are more likely to become dependent in later life.
Research studies estimate that genetic factors account for 40–60% of the risk for developing alcoholism.
Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to develop substance use disorders.
Much of what we do is habit and some habits are hard to break. Where food is concerned some of our habits relate to our growing up and the surrounding environment. When treating compulsive eating one needs to tackle the food cravings. The reasons for compulsive eating normally relate to bad habits, eating for comfort, stress disorder, the way we look or an issue on a deeper emotional level.
Gambling usually occurs due to the mental “high” after a win, followed by a strong urge to try again to recreate the winning feeling. These feelings can develop into a habit that becomes very hard to break.
Sexual AddictionSexual desire and arousal treated
Approached the psychologist with issues around sexual desire and arousal. After a single confidential talk with the psychologist about his issue, he was put in touch with an organisation that could refer him to a skilled psycho-sexual therapist, and given details about 'Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous' (SLAA) meetings in his area.
Alcohol AddictionProblematic drinking treated
Had several CBT sessions with the psychologist over 5 months to address his problematic drinking. Working on a gradual change plan, he was able to reduce his use of alcohol by approximately 30% overall, and have at least 2 alcohol free evenings per week.
The Doctor Medy Psychologist invites you to share your addiction and in return offers you professional guidance and signposting, enabling you to take the first step in taking control of your addiction.
Ready to share with a qualified Psychologist who can listen and provide impartial guidance over a confidential consultation?
Find out more about contacting your local mental health support services and using our service in our FAQ section.