Definition of an Addiction/Addiction Disorder

Definition of Addiction Disorders - Drug, alcohol, behaviors, process
This definition is pulled directly from the book I am writing, “The Human Magnet Syndrome, the Allure of Dysfunctional Relationships.

An Addictions Disorder is a catchall phrase for the persistent and compulsive dependence on a habit-forming substance or behavior. Addicts are obsessed and preoccupied with the continued use of their addictive substance/behavior. Despite negative consequences, they are compelled to continue the use of the mood altering substances or behaviors to which they are addicted. This is progressive disorder, or as Alcoholics Anonymous refers to it – a disease. Over time, addicts increased the frequency and the amount of the drug in order to achieve the “normal’ euphoric or “high” experience. With increased usage, tolerance for the drug is developed. Tolerance is the process by which the addicts require increasingly larger amounts of the addictive substance/behavior to achieve the original euphoric effects. Physiological or physical dependency eventually occurs as result of the escalation of use. As a result of the physical dependency on the drug/behavior, the addict will experience withdrawal symptoms if they significantly decrease or terminate their usage. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to anxiety, irritability, and intense cravings for the substance, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats, and tremors. Even after the withdrawal symptoms subside, the addict often experiences irrational cravings to return to their destructive and often life threatening behavior. Therefore, an addiction is typically considered a disease or medical condition that is permanent.

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Buyer Beware: Psychotherapists & Life Coaches Are Not the Same. Caveat Emptor.



Kris Walker, the consummate radio host on Mental Health News Radio, and I discuss the many risks and dangers inherent in seeking mental health or relationship help from unqualified, untrained, uneducated, and inexperienced individuals, many of whom have risen to fame thanks to YouTube.

We also discuss how and why coaches are a valuable resource, but not for one’s significant mental health challenges. Although most life coaches are an exceptional resource for help, as I have sent many of my clients to them, their training and abilities are nothing like that of licensed psychotherapists.

Since there are MAJOR differences in the education, certification, licensing, and training expectations, the two professions are not comparable what so ever. The problem is that many coaches are practicing psychotherapy when they shouldn’t. Their training and certification is very clear about this prohibition.

I have heard many sad stories of people who have been harmed by coaches who were quite skilled at marketing their wares, but less skilled in the actual execution of their helping abilities. I am also aware a great many coaches who have risen to fame through YouTube and blogging, who treat people with psychological problems, when they should be referring them to mental health practitioners.

Many, if not most of the people harmed by over-reaching coaches, have nowhere to go to complain, as there is no regulatory, licensing, or any other state or governmental organizations who oversee this profession, like there is for Masters and Doctoral level psychotherapists.

Buyer beware! / Caveat emptor