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It’s clear that certain addictions contain elements that create a cognitive distortion, more commonly know as disoriented thinking. When you drink alcohol or snort cocaine, you’re putting something into your body that aides in said cognitive distortion. It’s the chemical reaction our bodies have to that specific drug or alcohol that creates that “high.” But what about those addictions that don’t require the aid of chemicals to reach an addictive perspective?

Addictions such as gambling, anorexia, porn addiction, and so on—what is it about those types of addiction that results in the same “high”-seeking thrill, but doesn’t require a chemical dependency to obtain it?

What We Know Now

In years past, addictions such as gambling, eating disorders, and sex/porn weren’t commonly classified as true “addictions,” but regarded more as compulsions or impulse-control disorders. Addiction has, for many years, been accepted as a brain disease.

Gambling has been classified as a behavior primarily motivated by the need to relieve anxiety or stress, rather than a craving for intense pleasure.

People working with eating disorders tend to focus more on the psychosocial and family-influenced aspects of etiology; some are reluctant to accept that eating disorders and substance-abuse problems have existing parallels. Stereotypes have, in the past, obscured the dramatic differences—and their similarities.

Porn has been linked to addiction because of the many hormones released in the brain that “bind” a person’s memories to the object that gave him or her the specific pleasure, i.e., sexual acts like those in pornographic content.

All the hormones together create a euphoric rush that acts as the “high,” and because the payoff is pleasurable—the mind seeing it as excitement and enjoyment—the brain releases dopamine, which tricks the brain into believing we need to go back to whatever is giving us that euphoric release.

When something gives us that “high,” whether it be chemically induced or not, the release of  hormones and endorphins into our bodies creates that addiction-like compulsion. That “high” is what drives us to cognitive distortion, or disoriented thinking.

Different Elements—Equally Destructive

Conventional addictions, like chemical dependency, are easier to rationalize and interpret than those addictions that don’t rely on a chemically induced “high.” But addictions of this nature are no less destructive and threatening.

If you suspect you or someone you know and love may suffer from an addiction that doesn’t seem as conventional as others, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. It’s what we’re here for, and our trained and knowledgeable staff will assist in getting you to the right place to start your recovery. Contact us for help by calling us or by clicking the button below.

~Paul


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