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Going without coffee can lead to unpleasant withdrawals.

The addiction is a complicated idea. Even different mental health professionals define it differently, but there are some points of agreement. If a substance or behavior is harming you or your relationships, if it is difficult to avoid them constantly, and if you feel anxious to do it all the time, you can be addicted.

In the 70s and 80s, psychologists reserved the word "addiction" to substances such as alcohol and cigarettes. But in the 21st century, brain scanning technology has shown that certain behaviors can trigger the same points in the brain related to reward.

Addiction to the smartphone?

Consider this: are you addicted to your smartphone? We spent almost three hours watching our phones every day, reviewing them 150 times a day on average. Half of teens say they are addicted. Application designers know this and try to create the most addictive experience possible to gather and retain customers. Maybe it's time to set some limits, like some hours of the day dedicated to living without a phone.

Can you be addicted to caffeine?

Going without coffee can lead to unpleasant withdrawals. "Src ="

You may not need rehabilitation, but like stronger drugs, caffeine can be addictive. If you try to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms appear: nausea, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating. It can become more irritable and painful Headaches you can follow It's bad news for more than 80% of Americans who consume caffeine every day.

Caffeine goes directly to your brain, where it is fixed in place instead of a natural, structurally similar chemical that our bodies produce called adenosine. Adenosine is what makes you feel sleepy after an active day. But if cellular receptors that generally receive adenosine are busy in the management of caffeine, you remain awake and alert. This is how you get hooked on caffeine.

There is good news for those who suffer from caffeine addiction. If you can spend a week or two without caffeine, your brain is restored and you can rest assured that your retirement is behind you.

Is sugar addictive?

Sugar gives your brain a more powerful career than cocaine, according to a study. "Src ="

Yes or no sugar It's really addictive, it's controversial. However, eating too much produces some of the effects of addiction. A bar of chocolate at noon can help you to pass the time of sleep after lunch, but it is followed by a strong blow. That is your body responding to simple sugar with a rapid energy discharge that it can not sustain. Sugar gives your brain such a powerful reward that it even outweighs cocaine in this regard, according to a study.

Sugar may not be the only food that mimics addictive behavior. When their ancestors were searching the savanna for whatever food they could find, their brains were programmed to light when something sweet, salty or oily touched their lips. Your body is not different. The difference is your environment. Now those foods are everywhere! But your brain still experiences intense pleasure when you eat these foods, which makes them difficult to resist.

Shopping addiction

Some people accumulate incredible debts through compulsive purchases. "Src ="

Do you feel lost without your credit cards? Have purchases provoked arguments with your loved ones? Have you ever lied about your expenses? These are some of the questions that a mental health professional can ask you to evaluate shopping addiction.

Like more familiar addictions like of smoking or drinking, the addiction to shopping gives a great hurry followed by a big disappointment. When you buy something for the first time, that shiny new object gives you a stimulating feeling. But after the brief excitement ends, guilt and remorse often follow. Many of the shopaholics do not even open or use their purchases.

Addicted to the game?

The problem of the game can cause serious personal consequences. "Src ="

By now you can recognize a pattern in this list. Unusual addictions provide short and intense highs followed by emotional lows. The game is not different. When players win big, they feel bigger than life. When a player has an addiction, that high can temporarily disguise all low points when the odds did not go their way, and over time, they almost never do it for you.

The problem of the game tends to follow certain patterns. When someone is addicted to the game, he or she can lie about how much they play, they can play even when they do not have the money to back their bets, and they can try to reduce the amount of gambling without success. If that sounds familiar to you, addiction counseling can help.

What is addiction to plastic surgery?

Some people look for cosmetic surgery for all the wrong reasons. "Src ="

Cosmetic surgery It is not necessarily harmful. It can help increase self-esteem for people with reasonable expectations, for example. But not everyone has reasonable expectations.

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Somewhere between one and three in every hundred people experience body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental condition that causes people to become obsessed with imagined imperfections in their appearance. BDD is 15 times more common in those who seek plastic surgery. Although many plastic surgeons try to avoid treating BDD patients, not all are successful. The BDD does not usually improve with cosmetic surgery.

One study found that only 2% of those who undergo surgery see an improvement in their BDD symptoms. While most people with BDD report feeling better about the part of the body that underwent surgery, they tend to feel worse in general, often changing their obsession area to another part of the body. This can lead to a vicious circle of plastic surgery, which may seem addictive.

Can you be addicted to tanning?

The tan sends signals of pleasure to the brain, as do the addictive drugs. "Src ="

Are you addicted to tanning? UV light tanners bathe below the causes. skin cancer in some, but many do not seem to resist. But are they addicted? Several studies have psychologically proven frequent tanners, and the results are surprising. A study of bathers in Texas found that more than half met the standard for a tanning dependency, and more than one in four could be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.

Frequent tanning causes pleasure and a feeling of well-being. Releases endorphins in the skin, the chemicals associated with pleasure. It can be relaxing and improve mood like many addictive drugs. The abstinence from tanning can also cause family signs of dependency: difficulty controlling usage, neglecting other activities and tolerance among other signs. Some suspect that it could also lead to other addictions, including the recreational use of drugs and smoking.

Dermatologists recommend switching to self-tanning creams and sprays. These are not associated with Cancer risks, but they do not give you an endorphin race either. For that, consider exercise, which is both pleasure and healthy. Just do not become addicted to that …

Addiction to excessive exercise

Extreme exercise can become addictive. "Src ="

Even healthy activities can become addictive when taken to extremes. Exercise is one of them. This is true for a small minority of active people, and one thing that tends to unite them is the need for control in their lives. A key sign of exercise addiction is to continue your training even while you are injured.

Society also plays an important role. Cardiovascular exercises such as running can become addictive for women prone to anorexy Who wants to stay thin. For men, building muscle mass can become an obsession in a condition known as muscle dysmorphia.

Many others are more lonely in their pursuit of athletic perfection. Solo exercises can sometimes generate addiction to exercise, so some treatments encourage those affected to practice yoga, class routines and other social exercises. Sometimes, the "high corridor" that comes from the wave of endorphins generated during the exercise can also contribute to this problem.

Are social networks addictive?

Social networks can lead to compulsive behavior. "Src ="

Internet is everywhere. And at least 28% of the time spent online is dedicated to social networks. For adolescents, that percentage may be higher; They have an average of three hours a day on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and the others. For some, the uncontrolled use of the Internet can become psychologically problematic, leading psychologists to coin a new term for the problem: "Internet Disorder".

Like the social networks themselves, the idea of ​​being addicted to them is quite new. Mental health professionals have not decided if they fit the criteria for their own disorder. But some in the profession argue that yes. All those "I like" and comments can be stimulating. However, better make sure they are not stimulating a compulsion.

Addiction to sex and pornography

Sex can be risky and harmful for some. "Src ="

For most people, sex is a pleasant way to share affection and intimacy. However, the pleasure of sex can also be addictive. It is not the frequency with which you have sex or the number of partners you have that determines an addiction to sex. This is how harmful sex becomes in your life.

As described, sex addicts suffer from their obsession. His sex life becomes self-destructive, sabotaging work and relationships. Sex and the search for sex can occupy so much time that the rest of life begins to diminish. Sex addicts can engage in sex in dangerous ways, it can be impossible for them to stop, and often sex itself is not satisfactory.

However, the idea that sex can form addictive behaviors is controversial. Many researchers dismiss the idea completely. But if someone has an overwhelming compulsion to watch pornography or engage in risky sexual practices, there could be a psychological problem at stake, no matter what it's called.

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Addicted to love?

Love that causes harm, such as abuse or compulsion, can be considered addictive. "Src ="

Do you fall in love easily and often? Do you feel helpless when you are with the person you love? Does being away from your love put you in a bad mood? That behavior could be normal, but it could also suggest addiction.

Psychologists debate how to describe addiction to love. Some say that the body reacts naturally to feelings of love positively, so that love can not be addictive. Others say that love is only addictive when it causes serious negative consequences such as sexual abuse or compulsion. Others claim that all love has addictive tendencies.

What they agree on is the science of love. When you are in love, the chemistry of your body changes. Get a surge of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and other hormones related to pleasure and reward. Drugs of abuse also stimulate these hormones, particularly dopamine.

Can tattoos be addictive?

The rush of a new tattoo design can be addictive for some. "Src ="

Do people become addicted to tattoos? One in five American adults has at least one, and many tattoo Enthusiasts do not seem to stop at only one. The ingredients of an addiction are there: a new and pleasurable experience that can fade over time and leave you wanting more.

But at least one expert says that it is not correct to describe tattoos as addictive. The psychologist Viren Swami has done several studies on tattoos. He says that, on average, people spend between two and seven years between new tattoos. They also rarely cite addiction as the reason for the new tattoos.

Videogame addictions

Countries like China are treating young people with addictions to video games. "Src ="

Can you be addicted to a game? Today's video games are designed as slot machines to distribute rewards to their players slowly over time. Like the drip, drip, drip of an IV morphine, players acquire a momentary impulse as the hours, days and even weeks pass. Although psychologists have not yet defined the problem of video games as an addiction, it was included as an issue that needs even more in the latest edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which is used by mental health professionals to define disorders.

Without waiting for the approval of the psychiatric community, some countries have begun to treat young players. This is especially true in China and South Korea. Both countries fund clinics to combat what is perceived as a threat to public health. Meanwhile, it is investigating what could define the addiction to video games. One possibility involves GTP (game transfer phenomenon), a condition in which an avid player can begin to experience the virtual reality of the game world that infringes the real world.

Is the nasal spray addictive?

Although it mimics many symptoms of addiction, the nasal spray is not addictive in itself, properly speaking. "Src ="

Some nasal sprays can cause effects that look like addictions. These are nasal antihistamines, a class of medications that includes brand names such as Afrin, Triaminic and Mucinex. When you take these medications for more than the recommended four or six days, they can cause sneezing and runny nose, the same symptoms that should stop. This can lead some to use more and more medications to get the same nasal relief.

While this pattern may resemble the addiction on your face, dig a little deeper. Is there a compulsive psychological need to use the spray? No. You are taking the spray that is harmful to the user. Not really. Do they cause intense desire? No again. Whether or not it is addictive, these medications cause unpleasant problems for this reason. However, nasal medicines based on steroids do not.

Addicted to chew ice?

Some people have powerful compulsions to chew and eat non-food items called pica. "Src ="

Chewing ice is generally not a good idea. It can splinter teeth In some cases, dentists tend to discourage it. However, some people are strongly forced to do just that.

There is a name for the desire for ice: it is called pagofagia. It is a form of a larger disorder known as pica, which refers to eating things that are not foods. Many forms of pica seem to be related to nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition. Scientists once thought that eating these non-food items, which may include cigarette butts, soap and dirt, provided some missing mineral in the consumer's diet. Now that is generally considered false. In fact, the opposite may be the case; Sometimes eating the non-food product can cause deficiencies.


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