“Insatiable wanting machines, designed to desire,” is how Jason Silva, public speaker and filmmaker, describe humans in one of his videos.
Our body yearns —for a distraction, for an interest, for a change. It searches around to explore, to discover and fill up emptiness. And once it finds a fixation, it does not stop. This is why it is critical to be aware of our new fascinations and to be incredibly moderate.
According to the Medical News Today addiction is: “A psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.”
Addictions to alcohol, drugs, behaviors and even food can take over one’s life. Thus, an addiction is a continuation of destruction towards the body, even if it may seem harmless at first. What exceeds the limits will always find a way to damage us, unless it is supervised.
1. Alcohol and Drugs
First, addiction to alcohol or alcoholism is the excess consumption of alcohol that surpasses the normal quantity and at unusual times. It may start small and go undetected for a certain period of time but noticing the pattern is crucial. Avoidance of loved ones, drinking at inappropriate times, high tolerance, and hiding while drinking are all symptoms that indicate a problem.
And as alcohol hinders the ability to focus, a full on addiction will lead to health complications. Some of these may be cured, such as fatigue and decreased immunity. Some others cannot; liver diseases, heart diseases and the increased risk of cancer may be fatal. Not to mention that this can also put others at risk. People might drive while drunk or get into fights with others when they are not aware of their behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
Second, addiction to drugs or substances is also considered a brain disorder because of its impacts on the brain.The National Institute of Health compared two PET (positron emission tomography) scans: one of the brain of a drug addict and another of a healthy individual. The scans indicated that the former shows a lack of dopamine receptors while the latter has a normal amount of receptors.
Unlike alcohol, getting addicted to drugs and substances can happen after just a single use. It takes over one’s life quickly and needs a conscious effort to be stopped. It starts as a mean for pleasure and getting distracted from one’s problems. Then, it becomes a necessity to function. Drug addicts need to keep using in order to function properly.
Recognizing the existence of the problem is always the first step. After that comes reaching out; take a look at our alcohol and drug addiction programs that intend to provide you with the guidance needed in order to overcome this challenge.
2. Food and Eating Disorders
Another addiction is food; when someone keeps eating even after they are not hungry. BED, or binge eating disorder, is extremely severe and life threatening. National Eating Disorders classified BDE as the most common eating disorder in the US. Binge eating episodes are characterized by a lack of self-control. The person may not be able to stop directly once they’ve started eating. Once they do, guilt and disgust take over —the body feels heavy and so does the mind.
BED is encouraged by stressful situations and environments, a lack of a healthy distraction and an already existing complicated relationship with food. It is not necessarily accompanied by other eating disorders but can encourage purging. Thus, complications will arise. Some of the consequences are cardiovascular diseases, depression, insomnia and hypertension. And like all addictions, treatment is a must. You can take a look at our treatment program here.
Lastly, a certain behavior or an attachment to a specific concept can also be an addiction. It can take many forms. Fixating on success, money or always achieving more, for example, are types of addiction.
Wanting success and always looking for more is a positive aspect in one’s life. However, getting addicted to the point of stress and burnout while chasing said success is not. This dissatisfaction with the present and ourselves is a type of punishment that stems from a lack of confidence and unexplained fears.It is a cycle of feeding the addiction, feeling happy momentarily and then repeating the process.
The cycle goes on once, twice and maybe thrice before the second step starts shrinking. Happiness turns into misery; we are no longer satisfied. So we stretch that addiction, we reach out even more and overwork ourselves even more.
So we drown in greed little by little to get that something else that’s supposed to be bigger, better. Our bodies get exhausted in this desperate journey. Having no breaks, fixating on work, shopping, gaming or even social media are definite ways to lose sight of what is important. We enslave and subject our bodies and minds to this addictive cycle.
Moderation is the way to go. Being mindful of what is going on and putting an end to the toxic cycle is a must. Reach out, help yourself and others. Our behavioral addiction program is here to help you; you just have to decide to change.
Every human is an addict in a way or another. This addiction doesn’t have to be limited to alcohol and substance, it extends to attachment or codependency. It could be an addiction to watching TV, being on your mobile, social media, food, traveling, vacation or even your job. This is a part of what makes us humans. But the difference between being human and an addict is the intensity of the addiction, if it is overwhelming or not and if it’s manageable or not.
So we yearn and desire and reach for a line to hold on to. This is why we need to always be mindful of what the insatiable machine is asking for and what can satiate it safely. Exploring and desire are always exciting but those factors can be the same ones leading to a dangerous addiction if not moderated.