An addiction is continued involvement with a substance or activity despite ongoing negative consequences that apears. This definition of addiction includes not only substances as in drug addiction or alcohol addiction, but behavior addictions also, with non-substance addiction components.
Non-substance addictions are an example of a habit. Like other habits, addictive behaviors are learned behaviors that we acquire through trial and error or through observing others. The pleasures of an addiction can be diverse. In addition to promoting an increase in positive mood (feeling more relaxed, feeling more "up"), the addiction may also be a mean to decrease negative mood, the habit of making an urge (or craving) go away. The urge develops because past pleasurable experience and related benefits from the substance or activity are expected to reoccur on the next occasion. Urges are uncomfortable, and engaging in the addictive behavior is also experienced as pleasurable simply because (or perhaps only because) the urge is driven away.
Very similar to substance addictions, non-substance addictions shows all of the components of traditional chemical or drug addiction. This includes a gross preoccupation with the behavior, a chemical high, which include an increase of neurotransmitters in the body (brain chemicals), and actual withdrawal symptoms, which is when the neurotransmitters decrease dramatically. This decrease of neurotransmitters causes craving for the activity or drug.
In spite of not being subject to external chemical dependence, non-substance addictions are extremely dangerous. Even though the therapeutical drug treatment is often necessary, the main accent should be put on the psychological aspect of the addiction.
The best way to describe the addiction is referring to the possible answer to this question– "would you continue keeping your arm in boiling water?". Most of us would answer “no, of course not!”. But when one person develops an addiction, he/she has a compulsion to continue doing activities or taking substances, even though logic might say otherwise and despite having lots of problems as a result.
Among these “internal chemical dependencies” called non-substance addictions there are:
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