How Many Different Types Of Addiction Are There?
When people consider all the different types of addiction, they usually think about substances like heroin and crack cocaine. However, there are many other types of addiction, and these addictions can be as dangerous as drugs and alcohol. They can make your life unmanageable, cause serious negative consequences and, worst of all, overpower your desire to stop. Here are eleven types of addiction to watch out for:
Shopping addiction. A true shopaholic will not only shop until they drop, they will also shop until they have spent the mortgage money and maxed out all the credit cards.
Gambling addiction. The compulsive gambler will bet on sporting events, horse races, the stock market, lottery tickets, and any other activity where there is a chance of turning some money into more money. An active gambling addict will bet until all the money runs out. Then they will borrow money they can’t repay in order to continue gambling.
Food addiction. Whether it’s binge eating, overeating or bulimia, the food addict is addicted to eating. Food addicts can consume thousands of calories at one sitting. Most binge on junk foods or highly processed foods loaded with fat, additives and sugar. Food addiction is classified as an eating disorder. Eating disorders include anorexia, which is an addiction to starvation.
Sex addiction. Sex addicts seek out risky sex, have unprotected sex with strangers, engage multiple partners at the same time, and have sex with prostitutes. They may also be addicted to pornography, masturbation, internet sex, and phone sex. Sexual activities can include voyeurism, obscene phone calls, rape, and child molestation. Sex addiction is one of the more dangerous types of addiction. Fifty-five percent of convicted sex offenders are considered sex addicts.
Love addiction. Love addicts are hooked on the romance, drama, and emotional intensity of being in love. However, when the initial magic and euphoria start to fade and reality kicks in, love addicts are quickly off to greener pastures. Love addicts don’t understand that the romantic thrill of a new relationship is simply a foundation on which to build a deeper, more committed and more realistic partnership. Love addicts want the “happily ever after” experience, so when problems come up, they beat a fast track out the door.
Cosmetic surgery addiction. This addiction involves a compulsive need to schedule repeated surgeries and other cosmetic procedures to alter the appearance. Underneath this addiction is something called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Those with BDD are obsessed with what they consider imperfections in themselves and are addicted to correcting these imperfections with surgical, chemical, and other cosmetic treatments. In most cases, these people are attractive to begin with. Although others can see their attractiveness, the cosmetic surgery addict cannot.
Self-mutilation addiction. Self-mutilators feel compelled to inflict pain on themselves. They might cut their bodies repeatedly with a knife, punch walls, burn their skin, or pull out their hair. Self-mutilation gives the addict a sense of control over how much pain they will suffer, and it’s a powerful way to cover up deep emotional pain.
Exercise addiction. Working out releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins produce a euphoric high that can last for hours. Compulsive exercise can also be an eating disorder symptom. Working out burns off the excessive calories ingested after an overeating binge.
Online gaming addiction. Computer games, played alone or with others, can be one of the more dangerous types of addiction. Teens and preteens are especially vulnerable to the seduction of online games where complex virtual realities become more enticing and meaningful than real life.
Social media addiction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media sites can consume an addict’s attention for hours at a time every day. Keeping up with friends, checking in at groups, commenting, and posting volumes of material can become more meaningful to a social media addict than real-life, face-to-face interactions.
Work addiction. Work addicts are hooked on their jobs. While that might seem like a positive trait, true workaholism indicates a serious lack of balance. For a die-hard workaholic, earning a living takes priority over partnerships, relationships, parenting, health, and recreation. Although many work addicts are very successful and generate a great deal of income, they never seem to get around to enjoying their money because work will always comes first.
It’s important to distinguish a hobby, a pastime, or a passion from an addiction. None of the activities in the types of addiction listed above are harmful when performed in moderation. These activities become addictions only when they take total precedence over every other aspect of a person’s life. Escape from addiction requires a willingness to look at the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional states that underlie and support the disease of addiction.