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"Will I Become An Addicted Person?" - Society
"Will I Become An Addicted Person?" - Society

Video: "Will I Become An Addicted Person?" - Society

Video: "Will I Become An Addicted Person?" - Society
Video: Great Leaders Do What Drug Addicts Do | Michael Brody-Waite | TEDxNashville 2023, December

Why are we so easily addicted to people, games, food, alcohol? Is it possible to predict what are the chances of becoming an addict? Let's figure it out.

A young guy is in the consultation. He is a student, and, as it turns out from his story, he specially entered an institute in another city to be away from his parents. He is ashamed of his parents, because his mother and father are alcoholics. Moreover, the mother seemed to be "tied up", but the diagnosis from the father has not been withdrawn.

He was raised by his grandmother, and the most horrible childhood memories are associated with his parents. According to the guy, he cannot stand the spirit of people from whom at least a little bit of alcohol smells. Until the age of 22, he had never tasted alcohol. But just recently, at the celebration of the birthday of his beloved girl, "a terrible thing happened" - he drank a glass of wine and … he liked it.

This event plunged him into real horror and he turned to a psychologist with the question: “Can't you get away from fate and I will also become an addict - an alcoholic, like my parents? Can you assess my chances of acquiring this harmful addiction?"

The answer to his question is rather difficult for two reasons:

  • 1) the mechanism for the formation of addictive behavior has not yet been fully understood;
  • 2) the known mechanisms of the formation of "bad" habits (= addictions) are the same for the formation of "useful" habits.

Formation of dependencies

Addictions are formed on three levels: biological, social and psychological.

At the biological level, one of the prerequisites is a violation of the metabolism of neurohormones (dopamine, serotonin, etc.), which are responsible for positive emotions. There is evidence that these disorders may be due to genetic factors (i.e., it is a congenital predisposition). There are also studies that during pregnancy, the mother's hormonal background is a kind of "template", on the basis of which the neurohormonal status of the fetus is formed, which then persists for the rest of her life (therefore, take care and please pregnant mothers!).

If these neurohormonal imbalances are severe, it usually leads to clinical illnesses such as depression. In the case of less severe disorders of hormonal metabolism, we get a deficit of positive emotions, which a person tries to compensate in different ways, including with the help of alcohol.

On a psychological level, addiction is commonly understood as a maladaptive response to chronic stress. Stress can arise for a variety of reasons: traumatic events, chronically unmet needs, problems in communication and relationships with other people, etc.

As we grow up, we learn so-called coping strategies - ways of emotional self-regulation that help us overcome stress. Simply put, every person should have proven ways to switch their moods from negative to positive. These methods can be based on your own efforts (for example, hobbies, self-development, outdoor activities). But someone starts looking for a "magic cure for stress" that does not require the application of their own conscious efforts and activity. And as such a "medicine" are often psychoactive substances that cause addiction and dependence.

At the social level, dependence is formed under the influence of the immediate circle of contacts and the values prevailing in the community. If you regularly communicate or maintain a closer (for example, friendships) relationship with alcoholics, then you are at risk. If you are, for example, part of a bohemian community where drinking alcohol regularly is an important and approved ritual, then you are also at risk.

What are my chances of becoming an addict?

Let's formulate a clearer answer to the question: "Is it possible to assess my chances of becoming addicted, acquire a harmful addiction?":

1. On a biological level

If, against the background of constant dysphoria (low mood), there are suspicions of a genetic predisposition and information that your mother's pregnancy was difficult, it makes sense to undergo a medical examination. It is possible that your neurohormonal status needs to be corrected with medication.

If everything is not so bad and / or there is no desire to contact doctors, google about "hormones of happiness" (there is a good book with the same name). The balance of neurohormones can be slightly adjusted through diet and lifestyle, but as a rule, even such exposure is enough to reduce the risk of harmful addiction.

2. On a psychological level

The more ways to get joy (and other positive emotions) in your life, the better. The faster and easier you can switch yourself from "minus" to "plus", the less the risk of addiction.

If you are unsure of what to do with your bad mood and are stuck in it for a long time, then you may be lacking reliable coping strategies. In this case, it is best to contact a psychologist / psychotherapist who will help you with the choice of methods for getting out of stress.

3. At the social level

Do not forget that we are the arithmetic mean of 3-5 people with whom we communicate most. If people from your closest circle of friends suffer from addictions, then you are at risk. Therefore, purposefully form your immediate environment, maintain relationships with those people who are devoid of bad habits / addictions.