Mental Health

The 14 Dreadful Addictions Repressing Society Today

Addiction is defined as the fact or condition of being behaviorally hooked to a particular substance, thing or activity. Simply put, it’s a habit you are unable to say no to.

Humans have been known to be addicted to substances for thousands of years. Wine was used at least from the time of the early Persians from as early as 5000BC and medicinal use of marijuana has been dated to 6000BC in Neolithic Europe.

Although drugs, alcohol, exercise and gambling are still prevalent today, many other forms of addiction has emerged since the late 20th century related to the digital world, making up the 14 most common addictions plaguing society today.

  1. Alcoholism
  2. Caffeine Addiction
  3. Self Harm
  4. Exercise Bulimia
  5. Overeating
  6. Gambling Addiction
  7. Internet Addiction Disorder
  8. Nicotine Dependence
  9. Bad Relationships
  10. Pornography Addiction
  11. Sex Addiction
  12. Compulsive Shopping
  13. Video Games Addiction
  14. Workaholism

  1. Alcoholism
  2. Did you know that Moldova, Czech Republic and Hungary are the number 1, 2 and 3 countries with the highest total per capita consumption of alcohol in the world? USA comes in at 57th in the list.

    Drinking feels good. A few too many the night before leads to headache, nausea and the vow that you will never drink again. But then you do. You continue to drink more and more, eventually reaching a point where the body demands a certain amount of alcohol to stay satisfied. Like other drug addicts, alcoholics develop a need for it. In the advanced stages of alcoholism, it can be life threatening when the person stops drinking.

    Brain chemicals, personality and heredity are 3 elements responsible for making alcohol addictive.

    • Brain chemicals
      • Alcohol elevates levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to your sense of well being. Low serotonin levels make you feel depressed whereas high serotonin levels make you feel real good.
      • Alcohol elevates levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of satisfaction. The more dopamine is produced, the more fulfilled you feel.
      • Alcohol elevates levels of endorphins, our brain’s natural painkiller. High endorphin levels relieve feelings of pain, stress, frustration.
      • Alcohol reduces levels of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter highly involved in muscular function. Slurred speech and disorganization are two direct effects of suppressed glutamate.

    • Personality
      • Peer pressure. Drinking because it’s cool and to fit in.
      • Influenced by commercials, billboards and the streets.

    • Heredity
      • A person with parents who have issues with alcohol is at a higher risk of developing alcohol addiction compared to a person with parents who do not.
      • Increased availability around the house makes a person more inclined to pick up the habit.

    These are the 15 serious health effects when you drink much more than you should.

    Cut down to a manageable level or stop drinking altogether if you find it hard to control yourself, with these 16 methods.

  3. Caffeine Addiction
  4. Did you know that 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee daily? Another 30% of the population occasionally drink coffee, and among all coffee drinkers, the average java jolt is a little over three cups a day.

    Caffeine is a substance found naturally in the leaves, seeds, fruits and nuts of more than sixty different plants including tea leaves, coffee beans, and is also found in many carbonated beverages such as colas. Synthetically produced caffeine is added to certain food products and to many over-the-counter medicines.

    Realize that caffeine, just like alcohol, is a stimulant that messes up our nervous system. Often enough, caffeine is viewed as a harmless quick-fix when we are not getting enough sleep and not making the time in our busy lives to fulfill our emotional and physical needs. Some of us may also very well have bought into the notion that caffeine is needed to wake us up and keep us going, eventually becoming slaves to it.

    Caffeine keeps us out of touch with our physical and emotional self when we are constantly stimulated and flying. In a way, we are silencing our body from speaking to us about the truth of our condition, pushing ourselves harder despite knowing that we are very well tired and need rest.

    Know more about caffeine and its effects with these 28 cool facts.

    If you have been drinking more caffeine than you should, reduce and eventually stop your habit with these 11 approaches.

  5. Self Harm
  6. Self-harm by cutting is a way of expressing and dealing with deep pain and agony bottled up inside. Common sense says it’s stupid, but not for those addicted to it, as cutting brings great relief. At that point of time when a person starts cutting himself/herself for the first time, it may have been the only way known to them to cope with feelings like hopelessness, self-loathing, desolation, guilt and bitterness.

    Sadly, it does actually make a person feel much better, when getting rid some of the anxiety and pressure brings relief. Imagine all the pressure and mental agony in the mind gone when the adrenaline rushes in from doing something so intensely physical. Suddenly the indescribable pain turns into something that you can deal with physically. It submits to you. Suddenly it makes you feel in control of your life.

    Some people cut themselves to expresses emotional pain or feelings that they find hard to put into words as it puts a punctuation mark on what they feel inside. Some may feel like they have a black hole in the pit of their stomach and feeling pain is better than feeling nothing. Others feel less and less distressed as the emotional pain slowly slips away into physical pain.

    Getting out of the habit takes a lot of effort but with determination and these 11 useful tips, anyone can do it.

  7. Exercise Bulimia
  8. Exercising is an activity that promotes a healthier you. Your body fights off diseases more efficiently, your weight sticks nearer to where it should be and your mood stays good.

    However, there exists people who become addicted to physical activity and engage in extreme, compulsive, excessive exercise that are both psychologically and socially impairing.

    Motivations that lead to exercise addiction include :

    • An immense desire to achieve and maintain the ideal body weight and shape.
    • Feeling miserable, horrible and depressed if exercise is not carried out.
    • Attaining a sense of achievement, a kind of ‘winning’ feeling, just like crossing the finish line of a race.

    There are several similarities between exercise addiction and drug addiction, including effects on mood, tolerance and withdrawal. Neurotransmitters and the brain’s reward system are implicated when exercising. For example, dopamine has been found to play an important role in overall reward systems, and regular, excessive exercise has been shown to influence parts of the brain involving dopamine.

    These are the 7 negative health effects of exercise bulimia.

    Put an end to it by being realistic with these 4 practical examples.

  9. Overeating
  10. We are one of very few mammal species that do not have the gene to prevent us from overeating. Long, long ago, human evolution was influenced in a large way by famine. Throughout the years, we reprogrammed ourselves to recognize storing energy as fat to be positive, an act that is better than not eating for a long period when food runs out. Moreover, you won’t have to suffer through the problems of obesity that is plaguing society today because you would overeat only for a short while.

    Compulsive overeating is primarily caused by 2 things. One, the love of food. This happens subconsciously throughout the years. In your family, you may have been encouraged to take seconds since you were small. Some cultures are surrounded by food. America is a good example. Just look at Nathan’s 4th of July hot dog chokedown that has become such a phenomenon that the entire event is broadcasted on ESPN!

    Two, to escape a void and feel happiness fort term. Food is inside you, it’s a personal thing, it tastes good, it satisfies you, it never lets you down. You may get away with it when you are young, but as you get older, your metabolism slows down. The habit remains but your waist and hips do not.

    When you eat more than you should, you are risking these 24 health effects.

    So stop overeating. Make these 20 effective habits your lifestyle and stay healthy.

  11. Gambling Addiction
  12. There are 2 causes of compulsive gambling. One, is the adrenaline rush. Some people crave competition badly. They enjoy the excitement and rush of having something at risk. Be it pride or their mortgage money, the risk/reward potential can give a high. To some, the money won is just a score card indicating how smart they are. A very good real life example would be Michael Jordan.

    Two, is to maintain their big dream. We have all one time or another dreamt about the ‘BIG HIT’ where we won’t have to deal with ‘the mess’ anymore and live happily ever after. The difference between an average person and a compulsive gambler is the obsession in the fantasy. The don’t want it to end so they keep on gambling, unlike the first type of compulsive gambler who seeks to beat the game.

    You’ll be affected by these 35 ramifications when you let gambling take over your life.

    Put an end to it once and for all with these 15 effective ways.

  13. Internet Addiction Disorder
  14. Internet addiction is real and all of us are at risk. Spending 8 hours online every day at work does not make you an addict. It is part of your job, just like how a dentist extract teeth all day, a car mechanic repairing cars all day or a plumber maintaining plumbing systems all day.

    The moment you realize that you cannot say ‘NO’ to staying online, it becomes a problem. The lack of self control will eventually turn your life upside down, disrupting your ability to function normally or even lead to a tragic event. With millions of potentially addictive sites in the internet like pornography, online gambling and social networking, you may feel compelled to stay connected all the time.

    Internet is a powerful tool. When used wrongly, it damages you. Read more about the 17 harmful effects way too much internet can do to you.

    There are lots of ways to overcome internet addiction and here are 9 ways to get you started.

  15. Nicotine Dependence
  16. A lot of people start smoking early in their lives, like in high school, and get addicted by the time they are adults. Did you know that nicotine is so addictive that it is easier to kick heroine addiction than cigarettes? This is why smoking is a habit that is very difficult to break. Only an average of 5.5% people are able to quit smoking on any given attempt without medicines or other help. There are 5 main causes that lead people to start smoking.

    • Look Mature
    • If there are older people around smoking, especially parents and relatives, teenagers tend to smoke so as to seem older and grown up.

    • Peer Pressure
    • Many teenagers pick up smoking to blend in as it is every human’s desire to feel accepted.

    • Satisfying Curiosity
    • It is always exciting to experiment with something forbidden. In many places, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke. Most parents are strictly against their children smoking. Therefore, smoking becomes intensely appealing. The act of obtaining cigarettes illegally and sneaking in puffs without being caught is very exciting.

    • Stress Relief
    • Adults on the other hand start smoking for emotional issues. The soothing effect of cigarettes is utilized to help them through a rough time. Personal issues like not making enough money, unemployed, homelessness, dealing with other addictions, relationship issues, etc. are some of the common contributors of stress that lead adults to smoke.

    • Weight Control
    • There are also adults who start smoking to control their weight as nicotine suppresses the nerve activity in areas of the brain that are associated with the sensation of taste. Lessened sense of taste and smell makes food less palatable.

    Smoking is disastrous to your health and these are the 14 negative consequences that affects you.

    If you have been contemplating quitting smoking, good. Make use of these 13 tips to help you get rid of your nicotine addiction.

  17. Bad Relationships
  18. Being in love is an amazing feeling but not all relationships last long. Many relationships end faster than it started. This is because many people get into relationships for all the wrong reasons. Constantly looking to fall in love for all the wrong reasons can result in not only a broken heart but much pain and sorrow that it may even affect future relationships. Below are 6 reasons that tend to motivate people to get into bad relationships.

    • Pride
    • Some people are just narcissists and have this desire to impress others, motivating themselves to get involved in a relationship with someone who is very attractive and young. The term trophy girlfriend/boyfriend is used to indicate someone who just looks good in your arm, as a status symbol, whom you don’t really have much things in common or interest to talk with.

    • Money
    • Gold digger, the common term used, means being in the relationship for the sole purpose of financial status or gain.

    • Sex
    • Some people are in it just for the sex. Each time the person is out with his/her partner, he/she will always lead the meet towards sex. All he/she is interested to talk about is sex. It doesn’t matter to him/her if they have nothing in common.

    • Selflessness
    • A person may keep on going out with a blind date set up by someone close to them, like parents and close friends, just to make them happy. A lot of people get married in an arranged marriage without making sure to know the person beforehand.

    • Lonely
    • A lot of times, people get into a relationship to avoid feeling empty and alone. They use a relationship to fill that void even if they don’t want to be in it.

    • Rebound
    • A person who moves too quickly from a long term relationship breakup into another relationship is considered to be in a rebound relationship. The person uses his/her partner in the rebound relationship to get over the breakup.

    A lot of us may actually be in a bad relationship without knowing it. The stress and lack of positivity surrounding it may bring about these 11 negative health effects.

    Once you realize that the future offered by it is dark, start getting out of the relationship immediately.

  19. Pornography Addiction
  20. Most heterosexual men like porn. Not all are addicted to it. Heavy porn use and compulsive masturbation is caused by :

    • Childhood Trauma
    • Often the insidious progression of addiction begins with a sexual trauma, such as exposure to pornography, at a very young age.

    • Psychological Disorders
    • A lot of addictions, porn included, stem from mental and emotional issues like anxiety, depression, avoidant personality disorder and social phobia.

    • Sexual Problems
    • It is also caused by people suffering from sexual dysfunctions using porn to escape the shame of sexual difficulties with a real life partner.

    • Sexual Boredom
    • Sexual over-familiarity, or the onset of a feeling of repetitiveness in sexual relations between a couple, is another cause of switching to porn for something new and exciting.

    • Inability To Find A Real Life Sexual Partner
    • Individuals struggling with pornography addiction often have difficulty developing and maintaining healthy, positive relationships. In some cases, there may be a fear or inability to bond and commit to a real-life relationship. Physical and emotional intimacy may feel very frightening to the pornography addict.

    • Self Medication
    • Orgasms produce not just a high but also a neurochemical recovery period as the brain returns to a stable equilibrium. The more powerful the blast of neurochemical excitement during orgasm, the lower the lows as the brain recovers.

    Too much pornography is harmful.

    Put a halt to it. Yes, you can. Stop watching pornography once and for all.

  21. Sex Addiction
  22. Compulsive sex is a symptom and not a problem. The real issues are actually the underlying unaddressed feelings of loneliness, pain and need to be accepted. The discovery of sex have led it to become a substitute to those overlooked needs.

    • Lack of Parental Care
    • Inconsistent parental nurturing and love definitely can contribute to sexual addiction. It destroys a child’s natural desire for intimacy.

    • Sense of Parental Betrayal
    • A sense of parental betray when they need to feel emotional and spiritual love and support can make a person susceptible to turning to sex to find security.

    • Being Taught The Wrong Values
    • Insufficient parental teaching and modeling can leave a child without a solid foundation of love and respect. When they are taught that intimacy brings pain, children will soon learn that it is safer to withdraw emotionally from others.

    • Stress
    • As adults, sex addicts repeat old patterns of responding to stress that began as logical coping skills. What were once necessary skills of emotional survival become impulsive and destructive patterns of thinking and behaving.

    • Early Exposure To Sex
    • Many sex addicts report coming from families where one parent was hypersexual or where there were family secrets about extramarital affairs and early exposure to pornography. Any type of inappropriate exposure to sex or sexual material is usually symptomatic of family dysfunction.

    • Child Abuse
    • 82% of sex addicts reported being sexually abused as children.

    • To Feel In Control
    • Sex makes addicts, who normally feel powerless around the opposite sex, experience superiority. Sexually objectifying the opposite sex is a result of not being able to relate emotionally. That is because a sexual object cannot hurt, reject, make demands nor have needs that cannot be filled. Sex makes them feel constantly safe, secure, in charge and needed.

    These are the 11 terrible consequences of having too much sex.

    Recovering from sex addiction takes time and effort and lots of resolve.

  23. Compulsive Shopping
  24. Through constant exposure to advertising, we are encouraged that a product exists somewhere to cure all of our tangible and intangible ailments. It can be very easy to take shopping to an extreme and become addicted. A 2006 Stanford University study concluded that compulsive overspending or over-shopping is a legitimate disorder that affects approximately 6% of the US population.

    • Deprivation During Childhood
    • Parents may have given presents instead of time and attention, leading a child to grow up wanting to get more material possessions. Other people may have grown up with a lot of emotional or financial deprivation, and when they’re able to afford shopping for themselves, they overbuy as a way of not going back to the way things were.

    • Alleviating Depression
    • Some depressed women start by seeking out lifestyles and activities that alleviate the depressive tendency in hopes of creating an environment that is more active. Engaging in shopping activities usually leave them feeling much happier than before albeit temporarily.

    • Filling A Void
    • A shopping addict considers shopping as one way to fill the loneliness in life because somehow dressing up attractively helps them feel good about themselves and gets them the attention and validation from people around them.

    • Approval seeking
    • Shopping addicts usually run away from their conscious selves, hide behind a mountain of stuff and seek the approval of others through their purchases. Shopaholics also have a tendency to be easily influenced by others.

    • Perfectionism
    • Some shopping addicts place too much pressure on themselves to live up to their own unattainable standards of perfection. Overspending often becomes both a way of trying to live up to those standards and a way of relieving the feelings of disappointment when they do not live up to them.

    • Impulse Control Issue
    • Most people find it fairly easy to control their impulses, and learn to do so during childhood. Shopaholics, on the other hand, find impulses, particularly impulses that involve buying something, both overwhelming and irresistible.

    • Gaining Control
    • Buying something or bringing anything home is one of the few things that shopping addicts feel they have control over.

    • Escaping Problems
    • Another cause of shopping addiction is that it keeps a person so busy that they do not have time to face life’s problems like cleaning up a cluttered house, going to the doctor about a chronic medical condition or to deal with problems within the family.

    Staying addicted to shopping will ruin all aspects of your life.

    Learn how to manage your shopping addiction with these 17 tips.

  25. Video Games Addiction
  26. In July 2006, the world’s first video game addiction clinic opened in Amsterdam. It was the first time video game addiction was acknowledged, and the subsequent coverage pointed to the increasing popularity of video games and the people who just couldn’t stop playing them.

    • Built In Reward Systems
    • The built-in reward system of games are made in such a way that it engages the player to continuously strive to always get better. For example: For the first time you get far in the stage and then you die or lose but something ticks in your head and you just have to beat it. You gradually become addicted to the game’s sense of achievement.

    • Primal Instincts
    • Addiction to video games is due to the primal instincts that are triggered by all the gore, blood, violence, and sex that modern-day video games instill in us. There is ample research showing elevated blood pressure and heart rate as well as depletion of oxygen occurs while playing video games. This would indicate that the human brain believes the body is in actual jeopardy and is responding accordingly. Hence, the elevated heart rate.

    • Escape Life’s Problems
    • Video games engage us, in much the same way as a novel or a movie. Sometimes, it isn’t the game that is addictive. It’s the escape.

    • Unsatisfied Psycholigical Needs
    • Many video games satisfy basic psychological needs, and players often continue to play because of rewards, freedom, and a connection to other players.

    • Nostalgia
    • A lot of people play older video games to create a sense of nostalgia, causing a good feeling from a better, simpler time.

    Here are the complete 14 ways you affect your health when you play too much video games.

    Recover from video game addiction with these 11 useful tips.

  27. Workaholism
  28. In Japan, it’s called karoshi (death by overwork), estimated to cause 1,000 deaths per year, nearly 5% of the country’s stroke and heart attack deaths in employees under age 60. In Netherlands, 3% of the entire population suffer from a newly recognized condition known as leisure sickness where people report feeling ill during weekends and vacations than when working. Symptoms include headaches, migraines, fatigue, muscular aches and pains, and illnesses such as the cold and flu.

    • To Feel Accepted
    • The feeling within us is that we have to achieve a certain standard, or amount of work before we can become accepted as a person. The belief is that we are of little worth as we are, on our own.

    • Low Self Esteem
    • A typical workaholic may have feelings of low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy, the result being that the person keeps striving to do more and better.

    • Avoiding Personal Problems
    • Work may also provide temporary relief from the pain of a broken relationship, or from boredom or guilt or many other negative feelings we may want to avoid.

    • Achieving Self Imposed Success
    • It is also common that a work addict is driven to perform even harder and accomplish even more due to the inability to relax and appreciate the value of today’s success. In many cases, a workaholic’s behavior is self imposed and not based on an accurate perception of oneself.

    If you are one who work much longer than you intended, more often than not, you are risking your health.

    Be smart and introduce some structure in your life so that you don’t overwork yourself.

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