For quite some time, society did not understand addiction. Many of us thought it was a series of poor decisions and a lack of self-control. It was hard to understand why someone couldn’t get better despite all the help they were receiving. While we’ve been working to reduce the stigma and correct this assumption, many people still believe that addiction is just a set of bad choices.
The concept, however, of alcoholism and other drug dependency being considered a disease surfaced in the 19th century. In 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared drug dependency and alcoholism as illnesses. It wasn’t until 1987, however, when the AMA officially declared addiction as a disease.
The American Society of Medication (ASAM) defines addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease that involves complex interactions in our brain circuits, our environment, and our life experiences. People who are struggling with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that turn into compulsions and continue to worsen despite harmful consequences. Prevention efforts and treatment are generally successful as you may expect for a disease.
What Is A Psychological Addiction?
The term psychological arises from emotions or the mind. When you speak about a psychological addiction, it will relate to how you become mentally dependent on a substance or how you display behaviors as a result of the addiction. When someone becomes psychologically addicted to drugs or alcohol, they show a mental and emotional attachment to a substance. The person feels compelled to find their drug of choice, and if they can’t, they display volatile emotions.
Physical Symptoms Of Psychological Addiction
If you can’t retrieve your drug of choice, whether for financial reasons or others, it can cause physical symptoms. Some individuals may deal with crippling anxiety, while others may experience adverse side effects that can be fatal. The most common physical symptoms of psychological addiction are:
- Racing heart
- Breathing difficulties
- Tightness in your chest
- Seizures (Depending on the type of drug)
Emotional Symptoms Of Psychological Addiction
In addition to the physical symptoms that come along with psychological addiction, you will also experience emotional symptoms. While these may vary from one drug to another, a general list of emotional symptoms includes:
- Severe anxiety
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Social isolation
Other Psychological Addiction Symptoms
Unfortunately, if you are experiencing severe psychological addiction, you may go through harsh and debilitating symptoms. These include:
- Appetite loss
- Intense cravings for your drug of choice
- Feeling unable to cope without your drug of choice
- Experiencing feelings of restlessness when you are not using the substance
- Mental obsession with getting more of the drug
- Anxiety if you can’t access the substance
- Insomnia that is directly related to not being able to use the substance
- Mood swings
- Cravings that come and go, even after years of quitting the substance
Fortunately, there is help available. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve listed above and fear you’re psychologically addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must reach out to a professional immediately. They will provide you with steps to overcome addiction and gain control back of your life.