Addiction, Obsessions and Compulsions

Psychological dependency and addictive behaviour can take many forms and is not solely identified with drug abuse. By now we have all heard about the dangers and impact of other addictions like Shopping, fruit machines, Video Games and even the Internet. Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. There can be quite a social stigma attached to addiction which often increase the chance of denial and resistance of treatment. Acknowledging the problem is the first step toward recovery.

Answering “yes” answer to any of the following three questions may suggest you have a problem with addiction and should—at the very least—consult a health care provider for further investigation or advice.

• Do you have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have the substance or engage in the behavior?
• Have you ever lied to anyone about your use of the substance or extent of your behaviour?
• Do you use more of the substance or engage in the behaviour more now than you did before?

There isn’t always one particular ‘root cause’ in my experience, quite often you may have just slipped into a bad habits formed from work colleagues or friends. For instance, it may seem perfectly normal to drink heavily on slow days and after busy days, if that’s the norm at the Office. Put simply, the brain registers all pleasures in the same way. Our brain has a ‘pleasure centre’ system which plays an important role in sustaining life because it links activities required for our survival (such as eating and sex) with pleasure and reward. Over time the brain adapts, building up a tolerance and making the experience less pleasurable. This can lead to trouble as the need to regain the same level’s of pleasure or ‘reward’ is greater as the dopamine levels have less impact over time. Compulsion takes over and the individual is addicted.

There is nearly always a combined subconscious element with a physical component involved in addiction. Compulsions could be triggered by many different situations. Hypnosis can be extremely effective when dealing with withdrawal symptoms by creating more rewarding and productive behaviours, coping methods, increased motivation and notably help to tackle the core trigger(s) of the addiction.

By using hypnotherapy, we strive to rapidly recondition the automated types of thinking, feeling and even behaviour that have resulted in this addiction. We seek to tackle and recondition the sequences of thinking directly considering that, however the habit began and as big a habit as it may be, it is still just a habit.