Mental Health


When you’re stuck in the cycle of addiction, recovery can seem out of reach. But no matter how powerless you feel, change is possible with the right treatment, coping strategies, and support. Don’t give up, even if you’ve tried and failed before.

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Explore Addiction

Addiction FAQs

What is the definition of addiction?
Addiction is a disorder that involves an intense craving and loss of control around a specific behavior or substance, such as gambling or alcohol. Even if you know that the behavior comes with physical, emotional, or social consequences, escaping the addiction isn’t as simple as mustering enough willpower. Addiction alters the actual circuitry of your brain, affecting your memory, motivation, decision-making, and mood.
What are the different types of addiction?
Addictions can be classified as either substance-related or behavior-related addictions. Substance addictions include dependency on drugs like nicotine, alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, or painkillers. Behavioral addictions can include intense compulsions for activities like gambling, eating, gaming, shopping, or using your phone.
What is sex addiction?
Sex addiction is a behavioral addiction that involves intrusive sexual thoughts and lack of control over your sexual actions. The condition is distressful because it can negatively affect your relationships, health, or finances, or it might go against your deeply held beliefs and values. For example, you might continue to pursue reckless one-night stands despite a fear of sexually transmitted diseases. Sex addiction is sometimes called hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior.
What are porn addiction symptoms?
Experts still debate whether porn addiction is a real condition. However, symptoms of problematic pornography use may include watching porn in inappropriate places or consistently spending more money or time using pornography than you intend. You may neglect work or friendships as you spend more and more time online. Excessive porn use can also impact your real-life romantic relationships as you develop unrealistic expectations of sex or feel unsatisfied with your partner.
What makes a person addicted?
Addiction occurs when certain changes take place in the brain. Activities like gambling and drinking alcohol can give you a surge of dopamine, a chemical linked to feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. You repeat these behaviors to trigger dopamine and derive pleasure, but over time, you become less sensitive to the dopamine. As you build a higher tolerance, you increase the frequency or intensity of the addictive behavior. You may need to take a higher drug dose than you did before, for example, or gamble more to experience the same enjoyment. Some risk factors for addiction can include childhood abuse, overwhelming stress, mental health disorders, or being exposed to an addictive substance while young. Addiction can run in families, so there may also be a genetic component.