Addiction is when a person does, takes or uses something repeatedly, without the ability to control this behaviour. This inevitably has harmful consequences. Addiction often arises out of the need to escape from upsetting emotions or situations and usually causes pain and suffering not only for the person with the addiction, but for their loved ones too.
Addictions can develop from what might begin as innocent or common social habits. Common activities such as drinking alcohol, gambling, eating, having sex, and using the internet, can easily change from being controlled and ordinary-seeming to darker, destructive compulsions. Addictions may arise from the way that these activities and habits make people feel, both emotionally and physically, with the pleasure gained from the activity providing a form of escapism for a person going through a difficult time. Such attempts by people to provide respite from their problems are usually a poor idea however, with people finding that they need to partake in the activities they are using for respite more and more often.
Counselling is crucial in order to help you recognise the problems underlying your addiction and take the first steps to recovery. By understanding what has caused the addiction you can learn not only to overcome it but to manage your feelings in the future.
Some of the common addictions I treat include alcohol, cocaine, gambling, sex, internet, eating and smoking, but the methods I use are very widely applicable so you can be confident that no matter what your addiction is, I will be able to help you.