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Understanding the Psychology of Addiction

Addiction, regardless of what the addiction is to, is a deeply psychologically based condition. The roots of addiction’s causes, beginnings, and overall control over a person often are based within the person’s mind.

Even if the addiction requires a physical act and has a physical response, it is largely mental. Having an understanding of addiction’s psychological aspects can greatly help with understanding addiction and treating it.

The Complexity of Addiction

Due to the large psychological aspects of addiction, it can be an incredibly complex condition. Often, those with an addiction may not even be aware of their behavior as being out of control and damaging to their person and others.

The reasons a person engages in their addiction behaviors in the first place may even have been a result of something in their subconscious. Often, addiction may have arisen as a means of dealing with emotional stress. There might have been existing mental illness that predisposes the person to addiction, or make them see addictive behaviors as “normal”.

Mental State and Perception

Psychology of Addiction

Many addicts don’t perceive their substance use or behavior as a problem.

The psychological causes of addiction are often heavily debated by those in the medical field. However, having an understanding of how addiction affects the person’s mental state can have a huge impact on their treatment and recovery.

The way a person’s mind is before the addiction sets in can show how they will respond to it and to treatment. Sometimes, a person’s mental state can affect how they see their addiction. In some cases, it may be like the person is almost blind to the severity of their addiction, simply because their mental state prevents them from registering it as a concern.

Addiction and Chemistry

According to the DEA, each person is affected differently by addictive substances. This is often why some people, when exposed to drugs, do not become addicted while others do. Due to the chemistry of people’s brains and bodies, it cannot be easily determined how someone will respond.

Addiction can actually change a person’s psychology, which is often why loved ones will remark that they don’t recognize the person when they are using or don’t understand why they simply can’t stop. The NIDA further elaborates on the topic, stating that some addictive substances can mimic the natural chemical structures of the brain, overwriting normal functions.

Some can also cause what may be like a system overload in the mind as well.

As a result of the variations in the psychology of addiction, treatment often is required to be easily adjustable for a case by case basis. Usually, there is often multiple levels of evaluation done to determine what treatment options can be used.

Sometimes, what works with one person won’t work with the next, even if they were both addicted to the same thing. There also is the issue of any mental conditions that existed before the addiction took hold, which may require further psychoanalysis.

Due to the deep hold some addictions have on a person psyche, treatment can take considerable time and may require modification along the way. Addiction can have a high rate of relapse due to the extent of the psychology associated with it.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, do not hesitate to contact us at 800-481-6320Who Answers? in order to speak with a caring specialist and to find out more information about addiction and recovery.

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