Addiction is a strong physical and psychological attachment to a behavioral pattern that leads to unhealthy consequences and a disrupted life. Addictions can be focused on many different stimuli, such as substances, money, technology, specific activities, or other people: the similarity lies in that the original attachment provided relief for a particular stressor or imbalance in one’s life, but the reliance on the relief has actually deepened the imbalance. Addictions wreak physical, emotional, psychological, and financial havoc in the lives of those of us who suffer from it, and in the lives of our friends and families. Addiction is a serious condition and typically requires clinical intervention to assist in a rebalancing of behavior, attention, and biochemistry, but while addiction is increasingly seen as a brain disease, it is still heavily stigmatized as a moral failing, making it difficult for many to admit that they need help to heal.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.
The brain plays a central role in your vulnerability to addiction and your ability to recover. Brain dysfunction is the number-one reason why people fall victim to addiction, why they can't break the chains of addiction, and why they relapse.