Treating the Behavioral Components of Addiction

Treating the Behavioral Components of AddictionAddiction impacts users physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually and financially. While many of these issues hide from others, the behavioral changes are quite visible and often the most difficult part to treat.

Addiction and Compulsion

One of the most common behaviors of addiction is compulsion. Psychologists explain that compulsive behavior is a cycle that begins with feelings of isolation. In response, people may uses compulsive behaviors to feel better. However, these behaviors eventually cause people to lose more control and neglect loved ones.

Addiction and Obsession

Many addicts become consumed with the satisfying their cravings. Addicts spend all their time and energy acquiring and using drugs. Even when drugs abuse physically harms or emotionally isolates users, addicts repeat these destructive behaviors to get drugs.

Loss of Control and Ignoring Harm

These two addictive behaviors often operate in tandem. Users feels no control over their addiction and continue to use even if it harms them or others. They feel helpless to manage their behavior, which leads to negative feelings. A cycle begins where addicts do something harmful, feel bad and then seek drugs to relieve their pain.

The first step in withdrawal is secrecy. Users try to hide their abusive behavior, but this often results in isolation from others emotionally and psychologically. When users lack a loving and supportive environment, they believe they are unworthy of love, which leads them to devalue their lives.

Addiction and Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, substance abuse disorders are present in 32 percent of people with depressive disorders. They co-occur in 27 percent of those with major depression and 56 percent of those with bipolar disorder. Addicts must quit using drugs to clarify the diagnoses and maximize the psychiatric treatment. Treating both psychological problems and addicts is necessary if patients wish to recover completely.

Addiction and Denial

Denial is at the forefront of discussions about addiction and comes in any of the following forms:

  • Rationalizing – addicts use excuses to justify addiction
  • Blaming – addicts avoid responsibility by shift blame to others
  • Minimizing – a person discounts the seriousness of the addiction
  • Anger –to avoid confronting the addiction, addicts use anger to push others away
  • Self-delusion – addicts convince themselves that they don’t really have a problem

All forms of denial relieve the person of individual accountability.

Treatment for Addictive Behaviors

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) examines the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Patients explore their patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions. CBT is psychotherapy that differs from traditional therapy in that the therapist and patient work together to help the patient recover.

Help for Addictive Behaviors

If you suspect that you or someone you love exudes addictive behavior, act quickly and with confidence. To learn about available resources, call our toll-free helpline today. We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addictive behaviors, so call us now and begin recovery.