What is the Psychology Behind Addiction?

What is the Psychology Behind Addiction?

Unfortunately, many individuals lack awareness and understanding of addiction and its psychological classification. Some individuals are ignorant to the fact that influential factors, linked to physical and psychological variables can increase susceptibility to addiction. Others believe that addiction is a choice, that those who become addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, social media are low lives, are choosing to rely on an addictive emotion, coping strategy or substance.

Down to this stereotype, many prejudices are formed around addiction. When in fact, an addiction is a brain illness, it is a habit which can materialise for any individual, no matter their mental health or values. However, there is a psychology behind addiction, there are highly influential experiences, feelings and causations which can involuntarily form a behavioural addiction.

Whether you’re personally struggling, or follow an ignorant stance, it is important that you do understand the random selection of addiction, and how some causations and weaknesses can heighten the probabilities of developing an addiction.  

Through this blog, we look to answer, ‘what is the psychology behind addiction?’, along with prevalent ways to treat the complexities of the brain illness. If you do require support, contact our team here at Rehab Clinics Group.

What is an addiction?

Firstly, an addiction is a brain illness which overtime, can result in reduced quality of life and in detrimental results for physical and psychological health. An addiction is where voluntary involvement, use or consumption takes place. Yet, down to psychological weaknesses, down to highly influential variables, overtime, a tolerance to those addictive substances or items can develop.

Once a psychological tolerance has formed, those initial feelings will subsidies, requiring greater exposure. Here is where psychological changes are experienced, here is where an unhealthy habit will form, here is where withdrawal can feel impossible; even for those who crave recovery.

Down to significant brain changes, it can be difficult to switch an addiction off. It can also be difficult for addicts to see the severity of their behavioural addiction. Through this lies the true complexities and reality of addiction, far beyond a voluntary choice, far beyond an unfit decision.

What is the psychological behind addiction and why does it happen to some people?

If you are wondering ‘what is the psychology behind addictive behaviours?’, here’s a breakdown. As an addictive variable cause’s changes in the brain, in most cases, greater levels of artificial happy chemicals will be produced. Instead of completing this organically, shortcuts can be made through addictive variables, such as gambling, gaming or substance abuse.

Over time, the brain’s organic formulation of dopamine will begin to suppress. Here is where a psychological reliance on addictive variables materialise, showing how easy it can be to enable addictions.

Although this process will happen to those who enable addictive variables, some individuals do unfortunately stand at a greater risk. In fact, those with multiple risk factors are at a greater susceptibility rating when considering the psychology behind addiction.  

Risk factors can include genetics, where an organic disposition to abuse drugs or alcohol is present. Environments or social situations can also stand as risk factors, where peer pressure, where stress, where relationships normalise gambling. Mental health issues are also a high-risk variable, commonly linked with the likes of social media addictions.

Down to these risk factors, some individuals will respond weaker to addictive variables, unfortunately influencing an easier diagnosis of addiction; indicating the psychology behind addiction.

Psychological factors influencing addiction

Physical factors can influence addictions, as we’ve seen above. Biological risk factors can heighten addiction probabilities. In addition, physical associations can aggravate an addiction and its makeup.

Yet, the greatest concern is that the majority of addictions are psychologically driven, both consciously and subconsciously. Likewise, psychological associations are harder to bypass, requiring much more than a standalone detox.

The psychology behind addiction is commonly linked to mental health issues, to distressing episodes, to the desire to escape from reality. Many individuals will use addictive variables as an escape. Yet, this reliance, if uncontrolled can develop into an addiction, into a psychological fixation. This desire to escape showcases the high correlation between mental health issues and addiction. In most cases, mental health issues will drive the formation of an addiction, and vice versa.

In addition, many addicts will become addicted to the psychological benefits they experience from drug abuse, from gaming. With this in mind, their addictions will not lie on the variable itself, yet will link to their psychology and the emotions they experience through that exposure. For example, drugs and alcohol can influence escapism. Initially this feeling will be experienced quickly. Yet, over time, it will be harder and harder to reach those highs, requiring higher doses. Here is where the psychology behind addiction shows itself, by highlighting the desire to feel a certain way; linked to certain addictive variables.

By considering the above, it is easy to see how an addiction is far beyond a choice, is far beyond a single exposure, is far beyond a physical decision.

Treating the complexities of addiction

If you are struggling with any form of addiction, it is important that you source specialist support. Yet, it is vital to note that, because of the psychology behind addiction, treatment can be complex.

Addiction treatment will need to bypass a singular detox from that addictive variable. Although withdrawal will break the addictive cycle, it’s vital that the psychology of addiction is treated. Here is where therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, support groups and further therapeutic treatments are required.

If addiction was a physical choice, withdrawal alone could influence recovery. However, as it develops into an involuntary psychological behaviour, great effort is required through comprehensive and professional addiction treatment.

Understandably, there are many myths linked to addiction. Yet, those of which stereotype addicts should be overlooked. In correspondence to, ‘what is the psychology behind addiction?’, it is a deeply ingrained development, uncontrolled and elevated by psychological weaknesses. This is unfortunately the case for many individuals across the world, suffering through the complexities of addiction.

If you’re suffering with an addiction, reach out for our support here at Rehab Clinics Group.