An addiction is a complex illness with physical and psychological symptoms, affecting not only the individual, but also those around them.
An estimated two million people in the UK have an addiction to some form of substance or activity.
Addictions: What is an addiction?
There are many types of activities, substances and situations that people become addicted to, including drugs and alcohol, sex, gambling, exercise, pornography, shopping, and eating.
Addictions: How will I know if I have an addiction?
This depends on the substance or activity. Is it causing problems at work? Are your friends or family worried about you? Have you had advice from a doctor? Do you feel like you can't stop?
Addictions: How can an addiction affect me?
Again, this depends of the substance or activity.
Here are several examples of how an addiction could affect your day-to-day life:
There may be signs or symptoms that yourself or others can see. For example with a drug addiction, dilated pupils might be a sign others can see, whilst sleepiness might be a symptom you experience.
Alcohol addictions can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, liver problems, reduced fertility and depression. Not to mention relationship difficulties.
Sex addictions can lead to feelings of shame and depression, neglecting social or work commitments, mood swings.
Gambling addictions can lead to things like relationship difficulties and financial difficulties.
Many or none of the above may accurately reflect how you're feeling. This is why it's important to talk to someone if you are worried.
Addictions: Counselling for addictions
Counselling can be a beneficial form of treatment, as it can help sufferers to recognise their addiction and also to understand it. Individual counselling may also offer the chance to build self-esteem and self-respect. A counsellor or therapist can help an addict to start to understand their emotions and address the underlying problems attached to their addiction.
If you feel that a dependency or addiction is causing you problems in your day to day life or your relationships, then contact The Hope Street Centre. We offer a variety of counselling services to support individuals with an addiction.
Alongside we show a list of therapies that can help with addictions.