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.
What really causes addiction - to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions.
Dr. Maté is a renowned author of books and columnist known for his knowledge about attention deficit disorder, stress, chronic illness and parental relations. His theme at TEDxRio+20 was addiction - from drugs to power.
Addiction relapse prevention approaches have traditionally focused on challenging the thoughts that contribute to and exacerbate addictive behaviors as well as helping those in recovery develop healthier coping strategies in challenging situations.
Unbroken Brain offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addictions are learning disorders and showing how seeing the condition this way can untangle current debates over treatment, prevention, and policy.
The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.