Addictions Aren't All About Alcohol and Drugs!

I guess the chances are if you are reading this, you will say that you aren't addicted. You would probably be horrified that you might be asked the question.

Most people associate addiction with alcohol and drugs. But that’s not the case. We can become addicted to many things including –

• Gambling

• Shopping

• Eating

• Sex

• Love

• Work

• Exercise

• Pornography

• Video Games

• Mobile phones

• Social Media

It can be our ‘go-to ‘ place when we feel down. We are searching for that Dopamine hit. It’s just the same hit that those who take heroin get.

Dopamine is the "reward" neurotransmitter that tells our brain that we want more of something. It's released when we take an action that helps ensure our survival, such as eating, drinking, and reproduction of our species. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain. Basically, it acts as a chemical messenger between neurons. Neurons are specialised cells that transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.

The problem is that the ‘hit’ we get doesn’t last long, so we are constantly searching for the next activity that brings us pleasure, and that last one often doesn't satisfy us, and we search for more than before.

Say your ‘go-to’ is food. It’s no accident that you get the waft of roast chicken or freshly baked bread in supermarkets. The mere smell of them can activate dopamine, your mouth waters and you begin to feel all those sensations you experienced the last time you ate that crusty bread or tasted that roast chicken. So you are more likely to buy. Eating the bread or roast chicken and the pleasurable feeling you get from it reinforces those feelings. So the next time you shop, you make the same connections - Result - you buy again!


But what if the pleasure falls short of your expectations?