Different Types of Addiction

When we hear the term addiction, the first thing that we think of is drugs and alcohol. However, there are many other types of addictions people suffer from, drugs and alcohol being the most common.

Addiction can be generally defined as a compulsive repeated use or seeking of a substance, activity or behavior, despite its negative consequences to your health, social life or mental state. You can be addicted to substances like drugs and alcohol or behaviors like shopping, sex, and gambling. Addiction, regardless of the type, can be crippling and take a toll on your life. This destructive behavior can cause financial problems, emotional trauma and serious physical problems that can affect your marriage or relationship. Addiction can also lead to a sense of hopelessness where you feel out of control. This can result in severe depression and even lead to suicide.

Types of Addictions

As previously mentioned, addiction goes beyond the dependence of alcohol and drugs. The different types of addictions are not the same but have similarities.

Addictions can be classified into two – substance-related addictions and behavioral addictions.

Types of Addictions Related to Substances

Addiction can be caused by substance abuse where you become dependent on a particular substance. Over time, your body becomes tolerant to the substance, causing you to need it more frequently than before and in higher doses. You can also have psychological dependence where you become anxious or moody when you don’t get their substance. When this happens, an attempt to stop using the substance will cause withdrawal symptoms which can be severe and life-threatening.

Some of the substances that can lead to addiction include;

  • Tobacco – Alcohol – Cigarettes – Opioids such as heroin or prescribed opioid drugs like hypnotics, sleeping pills, sedatives, and tranquilizers – Cocaine – Cannabis – Amphetamines

Types of Behavioral Addictions

Another type of addiction is behavioral addiction, which is characterized by seeking out and losing control of a particular behavior despite its consequences or impact on your life. Common examples of this type of addiction include;

  1. Food

If you are addicted to food, you tend to overeat, and you are unable to control your eating. People who have this kind of addiction typically have binging episodes which are followed by a feeling of guilt and depression. The behavior can be caused by experiences like past trauma or past failed relationship. The consequence of the addiction includes overweight or obesity, stress, and depression.

  1. Shopping

People who have this type of behavioral addiction tend to spend compulsively on shopping and have no control over the behavior. They do so regardless of need or if they can afford the purchases. In fact, it’s estimated that 6% of the U.S. population has a shopping addiction. It can lead to enormous financial problems for people who have it.

  1. Gambling

Gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to place a bet. Those who have this type of addiction are often obsessed with the thought of winning the bet even though they have lost several times. They will continue betting with the thought that they will recover back the money they have lost. This leaves them broke and unable to meet their financial obligations.

  1. Love

Love addiction involves uncontrollable addiction to emotional intimacy. People with love addiction have compulsive patterns in sexuality, relationships, and romance that may have negative consequences for them and their partners. Although it’s viewed as less damaging than other forms of addiction, it can lead to broken relationships and marriages and custody issues.

Smartphone addiction, sometimes known as nomophobia, is behavioral or psychological dependence on cell phones. People with this form of addiction will feel agitated, anxious, restlessness, or stressed whenever their phones are out of their sight or reach. It’s often fueled by an Internet addiction disorder. Actually, it’s rarely the cell phone itself that causes the compulsive disorder, but rather the app and games that come with cell phones. It can interfere with your job, school or destroy your relationship. It can also cause a feeling of loneliness and depression.

These are the common types of addictions that affect people. Others include addiction to sex and pornography. If you feel that you are an addict, then do not hesitate to seek help from your doctor or therapist.