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What Are Addictions?

Addictions are a person’s dependence upon a substance, action, or emotional state to find relief from pain or discomfort. This dependence goes so deep that the addict seems to no longer be in control of their responses to desire, and suffers negative mental, emotional, and physical symptoms during the withdrawal or absence of that substance, action, or emotion.

Having an addiction is much like traveling with a damaged GPS or compass. You know where you want to go, but your addictions are guiding you to all the wrong places to try to find it. But how do we know if we are addicted? How do we know if our GPS is calibrated correctly?
 
Dependencies on alcohol and other drugs are usually easier addictions to identify. So are some process addictions such as sexual addictions (pornography, masturbation, sexual anorexia, and others) or addictions to television, or overeating, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. But many addictions or dependencies can be very subtle, while at the same time causing lots of damage. For example, some people are addicted to approval, and others are addicted to solitude, while still others need to constantly be around other people or they will fall apart in an incapacitating panic.
 
To find our addictions, we need only to examine the places we look to for fulfillment. There is only one source that can truly fill us, and if we’re looking anywhere else, we need to get our GPSs in tune.

Continue to Where Do Addictions Come From? ->
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