Addiction plagues most people around the world in one form or another. When we imagine addiction, we commonly picture drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. However, we may be addicted to a lot more than that, such as gambling, sex, and even work.
Addiction may be defined as not having any control over taking, doing or using something to the point of harm. It's an issue that affects your mind and body, consuming lives and affecting careers and relationships. There are many reasons why people develop addictions, and various factors may be involved, from purely environmental to genetics. The most common suspects, like drugs, alcohol and nicotine, give a nice physical or emotional feeling, urging you to use them repeatedly, but a price is attached. You can find a similar high when you engage in gambling, compulsive shopping and more.
What Causes Addiction?
There is no single underlying cause for all addictions, but many factors may increase the risk of someone developing one. The factors fall into two categories - chemical and behavioural.
Certain traits in behaviour may make you more vulnerable to addictive substances and activities, such as the following:
- Background - Traumatic experiences during childhood, such as abuse or neglect, tend to increase the risk of developing addictive behaviours. Early use of such substances or activities also links to a lifelong struggle with addiction.
- Genetics - there is enough evidence to suggest that there are also genetic links to addiction. If you have a family history of addiction, you have a higher chance of developing one. Certain genetic traits may also speed up or delay the progression of addiction.
- Mental Health Issues - People who experience more anxiety and nervousness in their lives tend to be more vulnerable to the lure of addiction. Individuals who struggle with stress and seek coping methods may also lean toward such addictive behaviour patterns.
There is a link between the repeated use of specific substances or engaging in certain activities and the brain's pleasure centres. Addictive behaviours trigger the creation of dopamine, which causes a mental high and a sense of satisfaction. The brain remembers this state of pleasure and wants it repeated, which is the primary mechanism behind addiction.
The repeated use of a substance or activity tends to change the way the brain feels pleasure, so the user needs more, either upping the frequency of the activity or substance use or the dose to catch up with the same feeling they experienced in the beginning. The withdrawal symptoms get more severe when the tolerance increases and the addiction is in full swing.
Using Hypnotherapy for Addiction
Recovery from addiction requires long-term changes in your behaviour. This is extremely difficult without a strong support system to back you up. Hypnotherapy uses a state of deep relaxation or hypnotic trance to make your mind more open to positive suggestions. This allows the hypnotherapist to help you change your addiction's perspective and push you toward changing your habits.
The process of hypnotherapy is a relaxing experience and helps lower stress levels, making you better at managing stress in general. As stress triggers addictive behaviour, this makes a big difference. Depending on withdrawal symptoms and the added stress of your recovery, hypnotherapy offers a layer of support you can count on, alongside other methods like balanced dieting, exercise and more. Reinforcing the changes made during your hypnotherapy sessions will take multiple sessions, as well as the use of self-hypnosis techniques you can use in your daily life, helping you stay focused and motivated on your path to rid yourself of your addiction.