Understanding addiction

07 Aug Common Addictions Part 2

There are many other addictions besides alcohol and drugs.  Last week, we discussed a few common addictions and we’re back to share a few more.  Read on to learn more about harmful addictions that you might not know about.  


A few years back, a film came out entitled “Confessions of a Shopaholic” that gave us a small glimpse into the life of someone who is addicted to shopping.  Those addicted to shopping tend to have many items around their home that still have the price tags on them, and are still in the original packaging, as they don’t really care about the things they buy, rather the feeling they get from buying them.  Shopping triggers reward centers in the brain, making the shopper feel a little better, but like any addiction, the pleasure is short lived, and they have to go buy something else in order to feed their addiction.  Being addicted to shopping is called oniomania.  


Gaming addiction is an increasing problem, especially in teen boys.  Those addicted to gaming often ignore their physical needs such as eating, sleeping, etc. and become angry or violent when they are forced to stop.  Many people have even died from a gaming addiction — from suicides, murders, and gaming to the point of exhaustion.


It is possible to become addicted to exercise, despite the fact that you do need to exercise to be healthy.  Exercise addicts exercise compulsively, causing their bodies more harm than good.  Too much exercise can cause depression, injuries, exhaustion, and an unhealthy need for control.   This often takes a toll on relationships, often causing divorces.  


People who are addicted to tanning visit tanning beds more than 8 times a month.  Withdrawal can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and irritability.  Excessive sun exposure can cause problems such as premature aging and skin cancer.  

Hair Pulling

Trichotillomania is the uncontrollable urge to pull out your hair — eyelashes, eyebrows, scalp hair, etc.  Many people with trichotillomania try to hide their addiction by wearing hats and using false eyelashes.  Technically trichotillomania is not an addiction, rather a “body focused repetitive behavior.”

There are two types of liars: pathological liars and compulsive liars.  Pathological liars deliberately lie in order to gain advantage, not caring about the effects of their lies, while compulsive liars lie because they feel like they need to.  A lying addiction can also be a side effect of other addictions.  

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