Helping you get through tough times

Too much of a good thing?

black and white honeycomb patternWe all have things that we enjoy – a drink or two, duvet days, playing GTA5 or heading to the gym. But when does it cross the line and maybe become too much of a good thing?

Addiction

Addiction comes in all forms. While we typically think of alcohol or drug addictions, it can actually be coffee, jogging, gambling or anything really.

What is it?

It’s defined by a compulsion to use a substance or continue with behaviours that make you feel good, or to avoid bad feelings. An addiction can be quite mild – the pattern doesn’t have to be severe, and no one is immune to becoming addicted to something.

Dependence on a substance or behaviour can be physical or psychological. One means that your body has become used to what you’re giving it and craves more. The other means that you want more of the feeling that something gives you.

How do you know if it’s addiction?

As someone who’s a bit of a hypochondriac, I can testify that self diagnosis through Google is not a good thing! However there are some signs of having an addiction:

  • Focusing on, or pursuing the substance or behaviour 
  • Needing more of something to get the same result
  • Excluding other activities or things you used to enjoy 
  • Letting friendships, relationships, health and studies fall by the way-side.

Basically, anything that’s getting in the way of you living your life might be something to think about. 

Ask an expert

If you’re worried something’s becoming problematic in your life, or that of someone you know, it might be a good idea to talk to someone. 

Our expert for this month is consultant psychiatrist, Dr Bobby Smyth. He’s taking questions on anything that might be to do with addiction, no matter how big or small. If you have a query or are worried, now could be a good time to get a little more information.

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