Many Americans have unhealthy addictions. These can range from gambling and smoking to compulsive eating and shopping. It’s sometimes difficult to draw the line between where normalcy ends and addictive behavior begins. For example, when does an addiction really become an addiction, in that it takes control of us and not the other way around?
Dr. Reef Karim, founder of a treatment facility called The Control Center, a treatment center that helps patients get over addictions, wrote an article in 2012 for the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs recording the behaviors that have the most scientific evidence for being addictive. Here are some of the findings:
Did you know that gambling addiction is much like substance addiction? They’re similar because the addictions have to do with the same area of the brain, the treatment is similar and so is the physiology. Crazy, right? Did you know that when gamblers suffer from withdrawal, they can get headaches, stomach aches, heart palpitations and insomnia? That is much like the withdrawal symptoms of someone with an addiction to a substance, such as alcohol. When a gambler hits it big, a huge rush of dopamine is released in his or her brain which makes him crave even bigger wins. And when he expects to win but doesn’t, his craving becomes even stronger.
There are many different types of food disorders, such a bulimia and anorexia. But binge eating seems to function the most like drug addiction. People spend a huge deal of their time thinking about food, and then overindulging in it, many times far past the point of being full.
Did you know that this addiction affects both men and women pretty equally? Did you know that many people with Parkinson’s disease who are given drugs to increase their dopamine levels develop a shopping addiction? This makes it likely that this behavior is linked to drug addiction because they both deal with dopamine.
Remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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