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Rogue Addictions: No I Do Not Have a Problem

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The editors at Best Addictions Counseling Degrees decided to research the topic of:

Rogue Addictions: No I Don't Have a Problem

"The US has elevated addiction to a national icon. It's our symbol; it's our excuse." - Stanton Peele, author of The Diseasing of America


- 14m Americans abuse alcohol or are addicted to it
- There are about 2m cocaine addicts
- 1.4m regular meth users
- 800K heroin addicts

What is addiction?


- Addiction is defined in several ways
- A powerful disease that eliminates free will
- Jean Brochu embezzled $50K and said he was "sick" and could not resist slot machines. He sued the Canadian gov't for therapy and restoration of dignity.
- A behavior: all behaviors are choices
- Requiring a particular chemical released into our bodies regularly
- Addictions can be developed over a long or short period of time
- Our subconscious will attract situations to feed our biochemical addiction
- Society recognizes the need for treatment with certain addictions more than others
- More recognizable addictions
- Drugs
- Alcohol
- Smoking
- Less recognizable addictions
- Victimization
- Sex
- Fear
- Distrust
- Control
- Our bodies create a physical need for certain emotional states

Does anyone take your addiction seriously?


- Smoking - the blame is placed on tobacco companies
- Alcohol - the blame is on the individual for lack of control
- Addictions that may be overlooked:
- Sex, Work, Shopping
- may ruin your finances, relationships and lifestyle
- friends are often cheerleaders for these addictions
- others may take part with you, not understanding your addiction

Food Addiction


- 30m drink five or more cups of coffee per day
- An estimated 8m Americans suffer from eating disorders
- 90% are women
- 1 in 200 women is anorexic
- 2 or 3 in every 100 women are bulimic
- Over 4m US adults are addicted to food
- Food addiction is characterized by
- compulsive eating
- obsession with weight and body image
- preoccupation with finding sources of food
- becoming anxious while eating
- depression and mood swings
- feeling guilty when eating
- awareness that eating patterns are abnormal
- history of weight fluctuations
- withdrawal from activities due to embarrassment about self image
- Untreated, compulsive overeating can lead to serious medical conditions
- high cholesterol
- diabetes
- heart disease
- hypertension
- clinical depression
- arthritis
- Some physicians insist that food addiction does not exist
- Binge-eating Disorder is now in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders)
- This disorder is still frequently diagnosed as OCD
- Treatment involves psychotherapy, group therapy and 12-step programs

Sex Addiction


- NCSA (National Council on Sexual Addiction) estimates 18-24m people have sex addictions
- 70% of sex addicts report having a problem with online sexual behavior
- 40m US adults regularly visit pornography sites
- 10% of them admit to having a sexual addiction(4m)porn addicts
- Sex Addicts suffer from uncontrollable sexual impulses
- Sex Addiction is commonly seen in those with
- Bipolar Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- may have a love addiction
- may base their relationships on sex
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- they often adopt self destructive behaviors
- Sexual identity confusion
- Victims of childhood sexual abuse
- they often suffer from PTSD and repeat abusive patterns
- Substance abusers
- can develop while abusing stimulants
- can develop as a substitute during the absence of drugs
- Intellectually delayed adolescents/young adults
- People with sexual disorders, which victimize others, require much more than addiction treatment. (examples below)
- exhibitionism
- pedophilia
- severe fetishes
- Victims of childhood sexual abuse often repeat their abuse experiences
- They often suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
- This repeat is an attempt to gain control over childhood trauma
- Treatment includes psychotherapy and 12-step programs
- the shame sex addicts feel can be a dangerous trigger for the disease
- Therapy can help their partners to feel compassion rather than anger
- Women who were sexually abused as children often gravitate toward sex addicts later in life

Work Addiction


- 114 million people work more than 40hrs/week
- Some people are driven to work excessively and compulsively. They are denoted as work addicts or workaholics.
- Work addiction is a growing pandemic due to
- globalization
- world wide economy
- new technology
- blurred boundaries between work and private life
- Studies show work addiction can be associated with
- insomnia
- health problems
- burnout and stress
- conflict between work and family life
- For the work addict
- work is the one overriding activity in their life
- their successes often do not result in pleasure
- Work addictions can become an obsession affecting
- maintenance of healthy relationships
- interest in non-work related activities
- involvement with family and friends
- their health
- ability to relax and enjoy anything but work
- No other addiction is so willingly adopted
- it is often rewarded and praised by society
- the work addict may appear to only be looking out of their family
- Work addiction is a pattern like any other addiction
- the cause is related to the person and their past
- like other addictions; the root us unfulfilled needs
- Work addicts typically suffer from
- low self-esteem
- feelings of inadequacy
- broken relationships
- feelings of guilt
- inaccurate self-perception
- Work is often a form of self medication
- The biggest obstacle to treatment is admitting there is a problem
- Workaholics may benefit from group therapy such as Workaholics Anonymous

Shopping Addiction


- Specialists identified symptoms of shopping addiction in the 1990s. This disorder is common mostly among women.
- 20% of German women acknowledge their compulsive desire shop
- Shopping addiction is acknowledged by 40% of American women 63 million
- 52% of British women say shopping is more enjoyable than sex
- Studies show shopping addicts feel no guilt during shopping activities
- when they come home they often wonder why they bought so much
- Shopping addiction resembles
- drug addiction
- gambling addiction
- alcohol addiction
- As with other addictions, reasons are based on the childhood of the individual
- Shopping addicts often suffered from childhood neglect
- Shopping addiction is frequently found in impetuous people
- they act before thinking of possible consequences
- they often do not consider amount of money required
- Shopping addiction is believed to be a way to forget one's problems
- The average shopping addict is
- a woman in her 20s or 30s
- has money
- has problems in their personal and professional life
- Psychologists say addiction to shopping is the disease of the future
- purchasing capacity is growing quickly

Bottom Line

All of these addictions may be neglected by society and the individual. They are most often treated in the same way as more easily recognized addictions.

Sources


- http://www.caffeineawareness.org/caffeineawarness4page.pdf
- http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/the-state-of-the-40-hour-workweek/
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bj-gallagher/is-everyone-addicted-to-e_b_490824.html
- http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90688&page=1#.UV8QmqJ_7To
- http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/addictions
- http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/addiction_psychologist/psychologist_addiction_food.htm
- http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food-junkie/201212/is-food-addiction-real-or-bogus
- http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/04/25/8-quick-facts-on-sex-addiction/
- http://english.pravda.ru/society/family/23-09-2005/8951-shopping-0/


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