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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Does Mental Health Sometimes Seem Oxymoronic? by Tim Olsen – Clinical Care Consultants Arlington Heights and Inverness, Illinois

Does Mental Health Sometimes Seem Oxymoronic?


Tim Olsen, MA, LPC

Does mental health sometimes seem oxymoronic?

Think about it, who doesn’t have mental health days?  Don’t we all have anxious thoughts, depressed feelings, confused direction… like, all the time?  The answer, far from moronic, is nobody, everybody, and “duh!”  Is it possible to achieve a healthy mind?  That would be awfully nice.

Are we not people who live in clearly confusing times?  We are called to be the best employee, the best parent, the best spouse/partner, the best student, child, friend… simultaneously.  Right.  Don’t these “bests” play against each other?  Sounds a bit like military intelligence.

Just act natural.  Isn’t that the answer?  Let’s put on our masks – you know the ones, they match our many hats.  Now, let’s go out to the world in which we live and be amazing at everything we do, all the time.  That is a recipe for anything but natural behavior or sanity.

I have one body.  I have one mind.  I have one spirit.  Being as close to healthy in each of these areas can keep me seriously happy.  It’s true.  For the most part, the more I pay attention to my physical being, the less I suffer physically: intentional exercise, diet, and doctor visits keep me active and functioning within my responsibilities and recreation.  The more I pay attention to my spiritual being, the more peace I have: prayer/meditation and connection with eternity through faith and nature keeps my perspective more rounded and grounded.  And, the more I pay attention to my mental being, the more clearly I can see my direction, my needs, and of what I are capable.

Some people might say that it is nearly impossible to have mental health.  As a therapist, I disagree.  I believe my work applies to one of the most important and powerful areas pertaining to human existence, the possibility of peace of mind.  But that is just my unbiased opinion.