What Is An Addiction Really? – Therapists and Counselors in Atlanta, GA
A person suffering from addiction will be unable to control his or her use of a substance or desire to engage in an addictive behavior. Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food and activities such as sex, Internet surfing, gambling or working – all of these can become an object of a severe addiction.
A substance dependence (e.g. to heroin) and a behavioral addiction (e.g. to poker) are the major categories of addiction. Although the perceived harm is often viewed differently, in the end both may have a very damaging impact upon the life of an affected individual. Relationships with family and friends, as well as one’s performance at school or at work can be seriously undermined as a result of the condition. Addiction counseling can often help to prevent this ongoing damage that addiction can cause to one’s life.
Addiction can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some common signs and symptoms an addict may experience include:
- Ongoing or recurrent uncontrollable desire to ingest a substance or undertake an activity, whilst often being aware of its harmful effects.
- An addict may regularly experience emotions such as shame, hopelessness and guilt.
- An affected individual may become obsessed with the object of addiction, organizing his or her whole life around gaining access to the substance or carrying out the behavior. The obsession may push an addict to engage in very risky behavior, often leading to problems with law or to serious financial difficulties.
Who Is At A Risk Of Developing Addiction?
There is no easy way to predict who will develop addiction – this medical condition can be triggered by many factors and circumstances and each case of addiction will be unique in some ways. Scientific literature does, however, identify certain risk factors that can influence one’s propensity to become an addict. Our genes, gender, pre-existing mental health conditions, cases of addiction within our family, as well as environment can all contribute towards a higher risk of becoming addicted.
How To Treat Addiction?
There is not a single best cure for addiction – the condition can be managed using various methods, including residential rehab programs, medical interventions and self-help groups (e.g. AA). Addiction counseling for individuals or families is a treatment option that can prove of great advantage for many addicts, whether they are suffering from a substance or a behavioral addiction. The biggest challenge facing an addict who is undergoing treatment is that of controlling his or her recurring cravings. These can become particularly difficult to manage when exposed to stressful situations or to an environment conducive to reengaging with the habit (e.g. a bar for an alcoholic).
At Thriveworks Atlanta, GA we strive to help our clients learn how to manage their thoughts and desires surrounding the object of addiction. Our primary aim is to enable them, by means of addiction therapy, to avoid reverting back to their old addictive habits. Every case is reviewed on an individual basis in order to provide the best possible treatment for each of our patients. We are here to help you – why not call us now to arrange an introductory session with one of our experienced therapists.