New Addictions in Soday’s society

Historically, Psychology professionals have identified physical dependence as a condition characterized by chronic drug-seeking behaviour associated with the symptoms of craving, lack of self-control, withdrawal and tolerance. However, addictions have changed over time and today’s modern Society is moving into an era of different forms of psychological addiction, which may not necessarily involve direct chemical compound working on the central nervous system. In other words, currently, a number of people are obsessed with compulsive behaviours which, although not related to psychoactive substance abuse, may be just as powerful and destructive as physical addiction. Many individuals fixatedly engage in socially accepted activities which take the form of urges. Several ordinary actions, such as going shopping, using mobile phones, surfing the net, or eating may produce an intense feeling of euphoria leading some individuals to repeat them again and again to an extent which is harmful. These are some of the new types of addiction which are rising:

Compulsive Exercise Addiction: Being physically active is a healthy habit that promotes wellness, through the release of endorphins, the body's "feel good" hormones. However, for some individuals the rush they get from exercising becomes an addiction and leads them to engage in compulsive athleticism that is extreme in frequency and psychosocially impairing. Physical activity becomes the pivotal priority in the excessive exerciser's life. All other responsibilities such as careers and families are neglected.
Compulsive Overeating: Overeating is now recognized officially by researchers as an addiction abuse. It’s the unstoppable craving to eat as a way to hide from one's emotions, to fill an inner void, and to cope with everyday difficulties. Compulsive Overeaters are characterized by low self esteem and constant desire for affection and validation. Their obsessive episodes of binging and eating are experienced as a way to forget their need for love.
Emotional Dependency: While healthy people build attachments to others and balanced reationships taking responsibility of their own psychological wellbeing, emotionally dependent individuals tend to count too much on someone else's support, needing external love, approval, or attention to feel worthy, adequate, lovable, and safe.
Cosmetic Surgery Addiction: As cosmetic surgery is starting to become more popular for the average person, lots of individuals are getting addicted to plastic surgery. These people are affected by Body Dysmorphic Disorder and they choose to rebuild their whole body.
Cell Phone Addiction: Psychiatrists say mobile phone addiction is an obsessive-compulsive disorder which might develop into one of the biggest non-drug addictions in the 21st century. Many young people admit spending several hours a day using their cell phones, making calls, sending text messages, giving missed-calls or logging into the internet. Mobile phone addiction has been identified as a problem especially among teenagers, whose shyness and low self confidence lead them to try to get in touch with the others through long-distance communication. However, it must be pointed out that the compulsive use of communication technologies makes adolescents possibly more isolated. Moreover, it might also cause students’ failure in school.
Shopping Addiction: Compulsive shopping is perhaps the most socially reinforced of the impulse control disorders. Buying things becomes the shopaholics' main strategy for coping with stress and escaping negative feelings (depression, anxiety, boredom, self-critical thoughts, and anger) even when it is obviously having negative consequences on other areas of their life. As with other behavioural addictions, social interaction and finances are damaged, yet the victims of such addiction feel uncapable to control their spending.
Computer Game Addiction: Many children, teenagers, and adults spend many hours a day playing video games. Some children never go outside, which does not promote social, communication. Moreover, they tend to have trouble paying attention in school.
Gambling Addiction: Obsessive gambling, is a type of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers have persistent thoughts about gambling even during times when they are not engaged in gambling. They can’t control the impulse to gamble, although they know such activity is hurting themselves, their families, and careers. These people put so much time and effort into gambling that they waste all of their money.
Internet Addiction: A person who is obsessed with surfing the net may spend hours each day online. There is a variety of impulse control disorders related with the use of computers:
*Net Compulsions – Compulsive online gaming, gambling, stock trading, or obsessive use of online auction sites can have serious personal and financial consequences.
* Cybersex Addiction – Cybersex is sex talk through the computer. Obsessive use of adult chat rooms or adult fantasy role-play sites affect negatively real-life intimate relationships and emotional health.
* Online Pornography Addiction - This is the preoccupation with viewing online porn and erotic images which interferes with an individual's regular life.
* Cyber-Relationship Addiction – Addiction to social networking, chat rooms and messaging leading to less social interaction with real-life family and friends.

Marzia Vaccaro - I Like Italy

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