5 Types of Addiction: Causes, Signs, and Symptoms

Addiction comes in many forms, so much so that some of them even manage to slip their way into the mainstream. Addictions to things such as caffeine and fast food often go unnoticed or get excused as the consequence of a busy lifestyle. While those things are generally harmless, some of the same thoughts and feelings that contribute to forming these relatively minor addictions are the same ones  that contribute to forming more serious substance abuse problems.

Addictions come in many different types, as do the signs and symptoms. It’s another reason to remember that treatment is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people will deal with some form of addiction in their lifetime, but there’s always hope of keeping it at bay. No matter what your addiction may be, J.D. Murphy is available in Pineville to help you through it with addiction counseling and therapy.

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Different Addictions — Causes, Signs, and Symptoms

If you think someone in your life has an addiction, there are likely some signs and symptoms that could help you confirm whether or not this is the case. While you should certainly wait for the opinion of a professional like J.D. to pass judgement or bring someone into rehab, sometimes it takes a hunch to seek a diagnosis. The following are just a few of the most common addictions and details about their causes, signs, and symptoms:

Food Addiction — Food addictions occur for a number of reasons, some of them much more serious than may be expected. Food addiction doesn’t only carry implications for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. Some people form food addictions as a reaction to medical issues such as hormonal imbalances, medication side effects, brain structure abnormalities, and more. Other people’s addictions manifest themselves as coping mechanisms to psychological factors such as sexual or physical trauma, other traumatic events, low self-esteem, or the loss of a loved one.

The effects of food addiction can be serious, as the effects of food on a person’s body are wide ranging. A food addiction can affect your functioning in everyday life much like an addiction to drugs or alcohol might. Some of the signs and symptoms of food addiction include:

  • Those with a food addiction may find themselves isolating themselves from loved ones as they pursue their need for more food. 
  • The addiction may stay on the addicts mind at all points in the day and sap energy and efficiency in their work life and daily tasks.
  • Difficulty concentrating, sleeping, and socializing
  • Irritability, headaches, and restlessness

Alcohol Addiction — An addiction to alcohol, or alternatively, alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, has wide ranging and time spanning effects on addicts and the people around them. The causes of alcohol addiction are wide ranging and highly disputed, but what’s not disputed is the devastation it can have on families and communities. Despite the ripple effects that their addiction causes, the reward that addicts receive is often too great to deny, as the addicts brain chemistry has undergone a change that increases the pleasurable effects of alcohol. Whether it’s family history, a traumatic childhood, some form of depression, or something else that fuels an alcohol addiction, the effect it can have on the addict and their family remains similar.

The signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse seem simple to recognize, but it can be easy for an addict to excuse their behavior in other ways and they may be good at hiding it from others. If you or a love one may be suffering from alcoholism, here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem:

  • They’re drinking alone, drinking to excess, or drinking purely for the intoxication.
  • Eating poorly, lacking personal hygiene, experiencing mood swings, and not practicing personal care in general.
  • A downturn in their professional life, lower productivity, and less interest in social activities in exchange for drinking.
  • Drinking as a resolution to problems, and as the problems continue to develop.

Drug Addiction — When someone’s unable to control their use of a drug — legal, illicit, or otherwise — to the point where it begins to affect their ability to function, then they have stepped into the realm of drug abuse. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse have similar ramifications in behavior, although a drug addict may have more reason to isolate themselves and hide their behaviors because of the more favorable outlook on alcohol. Some of the more common causes and risk factors of drug addiction include past trauma, early exposure to drugs and alcohol, a reliance on pain medication, anxiety, depression, and more.

The signs and symptoms vary widely across the realm of drug use, as they have so many different effects. There are however a few telltale signs that you or someone around you might be experiencing problems with addiction to drugs:

  • A sudden shift in personality, and neglecting past hobbies and personal obligations.
  • Struggling to focus at work, in school, or in social settings without drugs.
  • A lack of energy, strange sleeping schedules, and seemingly little motivation.
  • Vagueness about what they’re doing, where they’re going, and who they are with.

Sex and Porn Addiction— Once thought of as only an issue with drugs and alcohol, medical science and the greater community in general now recognizes that many types of addiction are possible. A couple of them include sex and porn addiction. Sex addiction is essentially the compulsive need to perform sexual acts to reach temporary contentment. The same could be said of pornography, a type of sex addiction, but this addiction may only involve porngraphic material. Either one can be shattering to those involved and the people around them. 

There could be a wide range of causes for sex addiction, but the root cause is still not known. Some think it’s possible that some abnormalities in the biochemistry of the brain increase the likelihood of sex addiction, but it could also be the same pleasure receptors that provide pleasure from food and alcohol.

The signs and symptoms of sex addiction can include the addict acting out in a variety of ways, including:

  • Having sex with multiple partners in possibly dangerous situations.
  • Seeking to fill intense urges despite severely negative consequences.
  • Chronic and obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies.
  • A preoccupation with sex or sexually explicit content even when it’s interfering with the functioning of your daily life.

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Treat Any Addiction With J.D. Murphy Christian Counseling

At J.D. Murphy Christian Counseling, J.D. uses techniques based on the latest knowledge in the field of psychology —  combined with an immense amount of faith — to help give clients the tools they need to address their addictions, whatever they may be. J.D. can help you get your addiction in check and your life back on track. He’ll work with you to address the cause of your behavior, your feelings surrounding it, and eventually the actions that make up an addiction. Contact J.D. Murphy for addiction treatment in Pineville today.