What is Compulsive Behaviours and Dependency?
Compulsive behaviour and dependency are defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.
Dependency problems are most commonly associated with behavioural issues, substance misuse and abuse, but it is possible to become dependant on just about anything, including:
- Work – some people are obsessed with their work to the extent that they become physically exhausted; if your relationship, family and social life are affected and you never take holidays, you may be dependant to work.
- Internet / Social Media – as computer and mobile phone use has increased, so too have computer and internet dependant. People may spend hours each day and night surfing the internet or gaming while neglecting other aspects of their lives.
- Shopping – shopping becomes a problem when you buy things you don’t need or want to achieve positive feelings. This is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair
- Substance misuse – some substances can be highly compelling, with dependence continuing to be a growing problem.
- Alcohol – alcohol dependence, sometimes known as ‘alcoholism’, is the most serious form of drinking problem and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink. Drinking plays an important part in the day to day life of alcohol dependent people, which could lead to building up a physical tolerance or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they stop.
Behavioural and social signs of dependency
Behavioural and social signs of dependency can include:-
- Secretive or dishonest behaviour
- Poor performance and/or attendance at work or school
- Withdrawing from responsibility and socialising
- Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
- Continuing to use the substance, or engage in certain behaviours, despite the negative consequences that these cause
- Trying but failing to reduce or stop misusing a substance, or engaging in certain behaviours
Seeking the help and support of an experienced Dependency Counsellor can help you to understand the reason for your dependency, and find ways to overcome it.
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