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Overcome Your Addictions

By Paul Rothbart

Stories of addiction often end sadly and sometimes in tragedy. When people think of addiction, narcotics and other drugs usually pop into their minds. There are also alcohol and tobacco addictions, two very common addictions that can cause health problems and destroy lives. The fact is, you can get addicted to just about anything, either physically or psychologically. 

Any kind of addiction is potentially harmful to your health and quality of life. Caffeine and sugar addictions are very common and many people are not even aware of the potential harm. As important as regular exercise is, it's possible to overdo it. People do become addicted and it can be harmful. Addictions can be overcome by understanding them and taking the right steps.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

When you stop an addiction you often go through withdrawal, the symptoms of which can be physical or psychological and range from mild to severe. Physically, you may experience nausea, an upset stomach, or changes in appetite. Feeling sick, body aches and shaking happen in some cases. From a psychological standpoint, anxiety and mood swings are very common as is depression. Insomnia often results and you may find yourself irritable and having cravings. Resuming the addiction relieves these symptoms but does nothing about the problem. If you successfully quit your habit the symptoms go away in time.

Challenges to Quitting

Ending an addiction is often very difficult. A big part of the problem is that people feel guilty and try to justify the behavior. That comes in forms such as:

  • Comparisons - Other people do it a lot more than I do. There are more dangerous habits. 

  • Minimization - I've cut back. I used to smoke way more.

  • Denial - I don't have a problem. I can quit anytime I want to.

  • Rationalization - I've never missed work or stolen anything to pay for my habit.

  • Lesser of two evils - It's better than quitting and being unhappy all the time.

Overcoming Addiction

In order to overcome an addiction, you must take the problem seriously and prepare yourself. Have a plan and get help. It's really hard to do alone. You can talk to doctors and therapists. They may be medications that can help. Ask family and friends for their support. Learn what your triggers are and avoid them. It could be certain environments, being around the wrong people, or activities that lead you to indulge. Find more constructive and healthy ways to spend that time.

Addictions are common and can involve almost anything. They are not healthy behaviors and your habit controls you. You can overcome any of them if you are in the right mindset and reach out for help.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hiram, Ga.

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