Addiction and codependency: 2 sides of the same coin

by Olife Team

Whenever we hear the word “Addiction” our minds go straight to drugs and alcohol. But the truth is that addiction goes far beyond these two. Addiction is simply the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior, regardless of its psychological and physical harm. It’s a codependent relationship with an element, a behavior or a person.

An overview of addiction
Did you know that the word “addiction” is derived from a latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to”? Addiction has an extremely powerful influence on the brain, manifesting in cravings, loss of control and inability to stop despite the consequences. For years, experts and scientists believed that only alcohol and drugs could be addictive. However, recent technologies and research have shown that there are more aspects to it, an addiction could be to a person or a certain type of behavior and activities.

The brain registers all pleasurable activities in the same way, whether they originate from a psychoactive drug, a monetary reward, or a sexual encounter. When the person engages in any of these activities, the brain has a very distinctive pleasure signature; the release of the the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Neuroscientists refer to that part of the brain as its pleasure center. It’s like flooding the brain with pleasure through a shortcut. With time, the brain responds by producing less dopamine in order to adapt with the overwhelming flow.

Substance Addiction
Substance addiction is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by a recurring desire to continue taking the drug/substance despite harmful consequences.
Drug addiction can start with an experimental use during a social situation, or with the exposure to prescribed medications, whether from a doctor, a friend or a relative.

Behavioral Addiction
Behavioral addiction, such as internet, sex/porn, gaming, gambling, phone, food or pain, is an obsession with the need to experience a certain behavior or feeling brought about by the action. Its physical signs are usually clear but not as clear as the psychological ones. Some of our day-to-day activities are so normal that it’s hard to believe they can become addictive, yet the obsession can still take over. Daily stress and pressure can make life more challenging, so some of us may feel the need to seek out more opportunities to engage in a behavior that allows them to feel the “high” they long for despite the negative consequences.

Love Addiction
Sure love addiction may not sound like anything dangerous or bad, but it actually and truly is. Love addiction is an unhealthy and obsessive fixation on a love interest. That kind of love is manifested in an extremely toxic behavior characterized in abuse, control, codependency and mistrust.
And even though it’s mostly common in romantic relationships, but It could happen in friendships and in relationships with children, parents, or even strangers. Like all kinds of addiction, love addicts tend to feel dependent on and lost without their partner. The worst part is that it’s always a toxic and abusive relationship, because if it were healthy it wouldn’t have become addictive.

Twelve Steps
The Twelve-Step Program is designed for people to help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from their addiction. It teaches you to identify your addiction, learn the right tools and techniques to fight it, and to experience the rewards of recovery using these tools.
In Olife Instagram bio, you can find a link which leads you to the “Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions” Workbook.

No-Shame Policy
Olife encourages you to help raise awareness in your circle on different types of addiction. It’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, but it is definitely something worth seeking help for.

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