“Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or religion, and intervention should be considered for any person suffering from addiction to restore his or her emotional and physical health.”
So said Dr Christian Jessen in an article in the London Evening Standard which went on to produce a list of the Top 10 addictions of modern lifestyles.
Very much encouraged in the modern commercial world, where every minute spent working can mean increased earnings. But all work and no play can lead to total burnout, and workaholics usually don’t realise there’s a problem until things go badly wrong.
Not the same as sex addiction; the love addict can never let an infatuation go, meaning it can affect his or her health and future relationships. Research suggests feelings of love are caused by a rise in phenylethylamine, a neurological chemical that can be addictive. It has also been found that people who are infatuated share similar symptoms with cocaine abusers.
We watch an average of four hours of TV a day. This means that by the age of 65 we may well have spent about nine years glued to the box. TV addicts share many clinical abuse symptoms such as helplessness in putting an end to the addiction, using their “drug of choice” to soothe their nerves, and irritability when forced to kick the habit.
Colloquially known as “bleaching junkies”, these addicts have made teeth-whitening the top requested cosmetic dental procedure, increasing by 300 per cent over the past few years. It may seem harmless but the consequences can be as horrible as in other addictions. Excessive teeth sensitivity, bleeding gums and transparent teeth are common.
Possibly something I should recognise in myself. Exercise addiction statistics are hard to find because it usually co-exists with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Treadmill abusers may sacrifice their health and social life for their addiction. A study published by Behavioural Neuroscience in August 2009 found similarities between excessive running and drug-abuse behaviour.
Otherwise known as shopping addiction, it’s not just celebrities who are afflicted. There are oniomaniacs or compulsive shoppers in almost every neighbourhood and family. Studies suggest that compulsive buying affects more than one in 20 adults. The mania has been linked to depression and has brought many shopaholics to the brink of bankruptcy.
A silly word adopted by the press, it refers to tanning addiction. Doctors are concerned about tanning and advise against the use of tanning beds, as they have been proven to be carcinogenic — but tanorexia continues to be a problem, especially among young women. A 2006 study found that the UV rays of tanning beds produce feel-good endorphins, falling levels of which, post-tanning, can trigger withdrawal symptoms similar to those caused by alcohol and drug withdrawal.
The craving for sexual gratification is as old as human history. But modern dysfunctional families are often blamed for turning a human urge into sexually compulsive behaviour and some feel that easy access to internet porn has only reinforced it. Not all psychiatrists recognise this addiction, but growing numbers of self-help groups and sex recovery centres have been set up to help treat what they see as a real problem.
Constant, unstoppable, obsessive internet browsing that becomes a daily routine, and where any interruption causes irritability, may well indicate the presence of an Internet Addiction Disorder. Psychiatrists are now acknowledging the mood-altering effects of online pornography, gambling, gaming, networking and blogging — in some countries, internet addiction has become such a serious social problem that recovery programmes have been put in place.
Plastic Surgery Addiction
Negative body image is driving hordes of people under the surgeon’s knife. In 2006, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons warned its members about patients with a body dysmorphic disorder or “imagined ugly syndrome” for whom cosmetic surgery is an unending journey due to these addicts’ dissatisfaction with the results. The organisation reported an alarming study that found 40 per cent of Botox users admitting to being lured to it by the attraction of continued treatment.
Do you see yourself in any of the descriptions? You may not even be aware of it, but an addiction might well be lurking under the surface…..
Some folk might think that I am afflicted with a few addictions…..
No. No way, you got it wrong!
I am not surgically attached to my laptop & cell phone and you know I only see Buffy in short bursts, every few months.
I was writing an LBC Post. Honest! The phone in my hand was to try and capture a photo of the young madam on my knee, before George obliged.
The topic Modern addictions was chosen for us this week by Ramana and I can tell you he is totally addicted to his new daughter in law, Manjiree, you can tell – it is written in his eyes!
I gave up tea once and was homicidal by the fourth day! Couldn’t believe how irritated I felt!
Lorna, I am not a tea person and have cut down my coffee intake drastically, I still enjoy a coffee, but look on it as a treat these days.
Very sensible ~ have to sdmit I’m v glad I never smoked or took drugs, find it hard enough to keep off chocolate at times
Me too. I still crave chocolate at times, but am doing my best to curb that!
The Golfer (dh) thinks I’m addicted to travel – no sooner have I finished arranging one trip I’m busy planning another.
Tanning centres have been closed here because of the incidences of melanomas in people who seem to be addicted.
I have a good friend with this problem, Cathy. If he doesn’t have 4 or 5 trips planned he goes crazy.
My life is one long holiday these days, but I do enjoy a few days away from home every now and then.
Don’t think I’m addicted to any of those – except maybe spending rather too much time on the internet! I do get quite intense crushes on people, but not to the extent that they disrupt the rest of my life.
Nick, I have cut my internet time drastically and went in search of other addictions! 😉
Is there a crafting addiction? I think it might actually be called hoarding. I don’t have that!
craftycoup, there might be if…. you forget to eat or sleep while working on a project! I can become absorbed for a few days, but never forget to eat or sleep.
I have an addiction to counseling. Fortunately, I’m seeing someone about it.
😆 Sorry I was stretched out on my couch talking about my addictions!
Oops! I go lounge on the couch and you grow a beard and change your gansy. Ok before you ask: A pullover, jumper, woollen sweater, cardigan. It is a corruption of Guernsey.
I hate it when you read my mind, Marie.
It is what happens after growing up with four brothers!
OMG. I think there’s a sainthood category for that isn’t there?
There better be. I was bang in the middle of them!
Great list! I’m surprised that chocolate and eating aren’t on it. 😉
Nancy, chocolate is not an addiction, it is food and the dark stuff is good for my heart. The bonus is that if I share it the calories are halved!
Frankly although there are many addictions more readily available today a good many of them can be managed, Television for example. Shows get cancelled. Bang – addiction (to that show) gone – although I have not yet forgiven the powers that be in the UK for cancelling Primeval. And I’d suggest my multiXL frame is proof enough food can be an addiction. SIgh. Oh well.
I agree that many of the modern addictions could be managed.
As for the food, I think some of the weight is due to the metabolism. I have been a stick insect all my life. Elly & George often wonder where I put my food. I love my food but come away from the table feeling I could still eat one more spoonful!
I am addicted to blogging. If I am away from the Internet for even a day, I become very unhappy. I love your header photo, by the way. Lovely!
I too that photo at the glen in Crawfordsburn Country Park, in County Down, a few years ago. Thanks for the reminder, it is time I made another visit.
I don’t think i have any addicitions. I am very nearly perfect. Dianne
Good for you, Dianne!
I think there is a big distinction between something we really like, and a true addiction.
Very definitely. An addiction takes over our lives completely. .
I’ve never heard of oniomania before! Great word…I’d like to be addicted to exercise at least a couple of days a week! Sitting with my computer every single night…for hours…yes, I may have a problem. 🙂
The word Oniomania was new to me too. I know a lady who, when shopping, walks to the cash desk muttering to herself about how much she need the item.
I think we all spend more time on the internet than we like to admit!
Bingo! You identified my latest addiction and wow, what an addiction it is turning out to be. You have no idea how the whole atmosphere in the home has changed. I dread the coming days when she starts work again after her vacation and will go into withdrawal symptoms. From your list I am addicted to two which, since I don’t have to make a living, do not cause any harm anyway.
Enjoy your latest addiction!