Addictive Behaviors Have you ever gone out for a night with some friends simply intending to drink one or two beers and found yourself drinking endlessly without being able to stop? Or, have you gone shopping for one item and came home with handfuls of bags of things that you didn’t need? Maybe you have had a bad day and instead of eating just one candy bar to make yourself feel better, you’ve eaten five or six and not even realized what you’re doing? All of those actions can be classified as addictive behaviors. Most people think that addictive behaviors only relate to alcoholism or drug abuse. What they don’t realize is that there are so many behaviors that people engage in on a daily basis are addictive and usually have underlying reasons as to why they’re unable to stop being caught up in them. One addictive behavior that people think is simply a bad habit or poor judgment is shopping. Men or women will go shopping for a few items. They have no intentions of buying anything other than what is on their list. They know that they cannot afford to purchase anything more than that. Suddenly, they are walking out with bags full of extra things that they couldn’t remember even picking up. Somehow, their plastic credit cards were swiped more than they can remember. The bill arrives a month later and the individual has not a clue what they bought so much for in the first place. Addictive shopping can be more than just a bad habit. It can be a harmful activity that causes people to slip more and more into debt and they might even hide their addictive behavior from spouses. Of course, people will acknowledge gambling as an addictive behavior. Overeating can be considered an addictive behavior. Having a bad day and sitting down to eat one small piece of cake, candy or anything and then looking down to discover that you ate the entire cake is an addictive behavior. Being convinced that you’re fat and boycotting food until you are skinnier than what is considered healthy is an addictive behavior as well. Interestingly enough, the main driving force behind nearly all addictive behaviors is depression. Depression can cause all types of behaviors to surface without even realizing it, and forcing people to become obsessive, compulsive, and lose control of their behaviors is more than enough of evidence. When you find yourself not being able to stop drinking, eating or engaging in whatever behavior is making you feel more fulfilled or alive, then you know that it is time to admit that you have an addiction. It can be treated with therapy provided that you are willing to battle your demons and are determined to be the winner. Seek professional advice and assistance before your life becomes more out of control than it already is and before you end up hurting people who care about you or even complete strangers. Addictions can be overcome when you’re willing to take the challenge. It may be the most difficult challenge of your lifetime, but it could also be the most rewarding challenge as well.
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