Do you need help with an addiction?
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Help for addiction in Milton Keynes
It is estimated that two million people in the UK have an addiction
to either a substance or an activity. This does not just affect the
person who has it but very often it also affects family and friends.
What is an addiction?
What is an addiction?
Most people will say it means being controlled by a substance, such as cigarettes*, alcohol or perhaps cannabis, cocaine or even sugar.
When such substances are involved, there are two aspects to be considered. First, there is the physiological basis of how the substance acts on the brain; for example with cigarettes, it’s the effects of the nicotine the person craves. And secondly, there is the psychological aspect that relates to the reasons for turning to the substance in the first place; for example with smoking, it might be to decrease stress or be accepted by peers.
But addiction may not be regarding an obvious substance at all. It could be chocolate or cheese. And you will no doubt have heard of people being addicted to more abstract things such as gambling, pornography or shopping. But regardless of whether your addiction is to a substance or an activity, it’s possible it may reach a level where it is harmful. And so it makes sense to tackle it before it gets to that point.
If you suffer from an addiction, it can feel as though you have no ability to control it; and this can make you think you can’t cope without it. Feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, rejection, anxiety and/or humiliation creep in and take over. When you are addicted to something, it very often leads to problems at home and/or at work, which then makes the addiction worse. And that, in turn, can have a serious impact on your health.
Can a habit become an addiction?
Yes, it can. It won’t happen to everyone, because some people can use substances, or regularly carry out activities, without ever becoming addicted. But sadly, others can’t. They do become addicted, and the psychological and physical effects can be extremely damaging. Frustratingly, it’s not always possible to predict when a habit will become an addiction, and often people aren’t even aware that it’s happening.
How can you tell?
If you genuinely have control over how you make a choice as to whether to have something or not, then it’s a habit. If you don’t feel you have that control, it’s an addiction.
What causes addiction?
There are many factors involved in causing addiction, and each person is affected by those factors in different ways. It can be anything from physical, mental and circumstantial factors, to emotional ones, and it can also be a combination of all or some of these. But what is particularly damaging, is how an individual builds up a tolerance over time to the thing to which they are addicted. This then means they need more and more of it each time to get the same relief/boost. Eventually, they can reach a point where they receive no relief at all but continue because the symptoms of withdrawing from the addition are so unpleasant they don’t want to stop.
How addiction can be helped with therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be extremely effective in helping people manage their addiction. Through the implementation of effective coping strategies, it helps a person to learn how to anticipate likely problems and enhances their self-control. Specific techniques include:
- Exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued addiction
- Self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use
- Developing strategies for coping with cravings and avoiding those high-risk situations
CBT, when combined with hypnotherapy, can also help your subconscious mind find solutions to the issue(s) you face. Sometimes, therefore, a combination of the two therapies can give you the help you need to make the changes you desire.
If you need help to overcome your issue call 01908 265410 for more information or to book a free initial appointment to talk about how I may help you.
*Results may vary from person to person
Set Your Mind Free – Hypnosis Practice Milton Keynes
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*There is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary from person to person