The most accepted characteristics of addiction include the challenged control or preoccupation over the substance, and continuing to “use” despite the consequences. A person’s patterns associated with addiction are typically recognized by the immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed long term costs in relationships or responsibilities.
Some of the more common drug and/or behavioral addictions include: alcohol, amphetamine, nicotine, cocaine, food addiction, gambling addiction, and sexual addiction. The only behavioral addiction recognized by the DSM-5 is a gambling addiction. To make things more difficult and seemingly more complicated, the term addiction is misused frequently in news media to refer to other compulsive behaviors or disorders, particularly dependence.
I take a more broad approach to any additive behavior and look at what one may be trying to “numb” in their day. I try to look for the root cause of the addictive behavior, rather than focus just the behavior. If we can help you move through the cause, you are more apt not to repeat the addictive behavior.
Along with Talk therapy, I use EMDR and Brainspotting to help us identify the possible sources for the desire to numb. I was able to further hone my treatment experience at Cedar Hills Hospital and being the Head Therapist for a Suboxone doctor in SW Portland. My goal is always to help people suffering from addiction along with their families develop a positive outlook on their future lives. This involves both the chemical addiction and the experience of emotional and spiritual pain.
There is hope.