Addiction is an abuse of a substance or behavior that can take many forms. Alcohol and drugs are the most easily recognized forms of addiction. There are many behaviors that can be disruptive to a person’s life if they are abused. These behaviors are often classified as addictions.
One curious habit is the practice of exercising to the detriment of a person’s health and relationships. Exercise is usually a positive thing, so recognizing the potential downside isn’t always easy. Exercise addiction stems from a need to be in control. Compulsive calorie counting and attention to weight are often warning signs that there might be a problem. A significant number of marathon runners might actually be exercise addicts. Excessive exercise can isolate the addict from social activities. Encouraging the addict to engage in exercise groups or classes, such as yoga or spinning is very effective.
Cosmetic surgery addiction
With beautiful celebrities in the limelight, there is tremendous focus on external values such as one’s appearance. The pursuit of physical perfection is an elusive and destructive path. Those who abuse plastic surgery can sometimes have many procedures in a year’s time. They never seem to be happy with the results and seek to fix their problems by scheduling yet another surgery. Some plastic surgery addicts suffer from a disease called body dismorphic disorder. Body dismorpic disorder often causes the patient to exaggerate a defect and seek repeated surgeries to fix it. Effective treatment is often a combination of medication and talk therapy.
Shopping addiction is an abusive cycle of guilt and pain. It starts with the abuser trying to compensate for feelings of inadequacy or sadness by compulsively shopping for things which they can not afford. Shopping addicts report a feeling of euphoria when they are buying goods. The feeling quickly turns to feelings of depression, often as soon as the transaction is complete. Group therapy sessions have proven to be effective with this form of addiction.
Constant online gaming has been shown to be extremely damaging to relationships and careers. Isolation, moodiness and sleep deprivation are all symptoms of this increasingly common addiction. In several instances, the addict has been violent when parents or other authority figures attempt to limit or prevent them from playing the game. Therapy and medication have limited success with this addiction. Installing timers or tracking devices on the computer has been effective in some instances.