Is your passion for gambling, exercising, or watching online videos a fun hobby or a sign of something more serious? It might surprise you, but addiction is a complex condition that comes in many forms and can happen to anyone. Generally speaking, addiction is an inability to stop using a substance (from tobacco to illegal drugs) or engaging in a behavior (from shopping to sex) despite negative consequences. Why is this? The reward center in the brain releases dopamine in response to a pleasurable experience or hyperarousal. The more times people experience the behavior, the more dopamine is released and the more driven they are to return to the behavior. If you find yourself shifting your priorities, increasingly isolated or feeling irritable when not engaged in a behavior, it may be time to get help in breaking the pattern.
Addictive Personality Traits
Everyone has interests that they are passionate about, but how do you know if your love of something is interfering with life and actually is a problem?
The Difference Between Behavioral and Substance Addiction
Addiction is a complex condition that has a wide range of manifestations. Some addictions can be in the form of substances such as drugs or alcohol. Whereas other addictions can be categorized as behavioral addictions and found in activities such as shopping, gambling, video gaming, and eating.
Substance use disorder can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situation but then the drug use becomes more frequent. As drug use increases, one may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug.
The world is largely digital. From checking social media on our phones to gaming or binging a new show, it’s hard to escape this cultural norm. So how do you encourage your teens to give their brain a break?
Connect with others like you for support, practical information, and answers to your questions about mental health issues or caring for someone with mental health concerns. Ask questions and get answers.
If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, seek help. Contact your primary care provider or mental health professional. If this is an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number. In the U.S., call, text, or chat the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 (formerly the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
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