Are Your Bad Habits Controlling Your Life?

It is a common misconception that addiction is only associated with substance abuse, such as drugs and alcohol. Contrarily, we can become grossly addicted to many other substances and experiences: these include (not mutually exclusive to) Love addiction, Gambling, Sport, Shopping, Internet, Pornography, Sex, Social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram), Electronics and gadgets, Negative or Risky Behaviours to name a few.

In essence it is important to characterise and understand what we mean by addiction at Harley Street Psychology. When we engage in activities that prompt a surge of chemicals in our body, such as adrenaline and dopamine, these chemicals provide a temporary “high” which causes us to be destabilised within our bodies. Depending on our current circumstances we may be rational enough to know that the event was something enjoyable and have strong enough boundaries to not continually use the “substance” and carry on normally.

The problem arises when the experience with the substance or event has fuelled our life with a different sense/feeling/chemical which is removed from our sometimes stagnant lives. This is where we become open to having our perception changed for the worst. We begin to view the event/experience/substance favourably because of the new feelings it promotes which in-turn manifests into an addiction through our repetitive behaviour. Because we so easily connect with repetitive “bad” behaviour and thinking, we reinforce the new need and dependency on the substance which ultimately causes us to feel that we “need” it and cannot function “without it”.

Regardless of the type of addiction you feel you have, it will take a serious toll on your physical, and psychological wellbeing. If you feel you are in this repetitive cycle and are able to acknowledge to yourself that there is a problem–contact us on 0207 060 5257 immediately!

What is Addiction Counselling, Addiction  Psychotherapy and Psychiatry?

Addiction counsellors can help you identify whether you have an addiction and may suggest a course of counselling sessions to help overcome it.

Therapy for addiction can help you to examine the underlying causes that precipitated the vicious cycle and identify any possible triggers that may lead to a relapse. It can also help you deal with any other psychological issues that may be attached to your addiction such as depression, low self-esteem or anxiety. Finally, it can guide those around you such as family and friends to better understand your addiction and learn how to support you during your recovery.

If your addiction is serious, you may also need to meet with a consultant psychiatrist to diagnose, monitor and treat any mental health issues arising from it, and they can refer you to a rehabilitation centre if a residential stay is recommended.

Breaking the Addiction Cycle – The Harley Street Psychology™ Method

Addictions most commonly are treated with the aid of a 12 step programme that essentially guarantees the success in overcoming the addiction to either drugs, drink, food, sex, love or any other potentially addictive substance or act. The concern here is that there is no pivotal research that indicates the success of such programmes and there have been three primary studies which have researched the efficacy of AA styled programmes, only to find that they are obsolete and have a higher relapse rate than a fully tailored and bespoke psycho-therapeutic intervention.

In lay mans terms, the process of AA style meetings provides a platform for people who are struggling with addictive behaviours to identify with the experiences and stories of “recovering addicts” so that they can gain perspective on their life experience with the aid of the “buddy” programme or “sponsor” to help through difficult periods when they want to give into their addiction.

Historically AA programs have introduced quite an evangelical style to the meetings with the hope that by introducing God or Godly ways into the meetings there can be a displacement of substances for something more spiritually fulfilling.

By no means is this a dismissal of this process and depending on the depth of belief of the person, this may work, however there is not enough evidence to point the substance abuser in the direction of actually learning how to change unhelpful behaviours and understand the need for such behaviours and choices.

Some thoughts to ponder when reaching the point of looking for help:

  1. you will naturally be using the substance to soothe a part of you that needs kindness and love. Possibly both of which you are unable to give yourself, which can translate into an inability to care for yourself.
  2. the substance abuse creates a perfect strategy always available to prevent you from dealing with the core issues in your life and making the necessary choices to adapt and change for the better.
  3. There are constant excuses being used to avoid taking responsibility for your actions and choices
  4. You will often sabotage any form of positive relationship and supplement it once again with the use of substances when things go wrong.
  5. There has to be a desire to change and be dedicated to your growth and have a willingness to look at the core pains you carry.
  6. There has to be a dedication and persistence in finding the root and core issue that is holding you in the repetitive cycle

At Harley Street Psychology™, our psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors and psychiatrists work with the full range of addictions, addictive behaviours and thinking.

It takes 21 days biologically to create a new habit, and it takes 90 days of consistency to break a bad habit. This is a rule of thumb largely dependant on your ability to replace bad behaviours and thinking patterns consistently with new and more effective healthy ones. We will assess all the causes and negative thinking and behaving patterns contributing to the addiction. With this added insight and a bespoke plan will allow you once again a sense of freedom to break away from the hold that the addiction has on your life. Each session will focus on helping you gain the crucial self-understanding necessary to disarm the core need for the addiction. You will in essence recalibrate the way you relate to the addiction and the readjust the thinking patterns that keep you tied into the current negative belief system you have.

Accessing Addiction Counselling, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry Services at HarleyStreet Psychology™, London

Harley Street Psychology has an extensive network of therapists and inclusive of Specialist Psychiatrists offering addiction treatment.

Call us on 0207 060 5257 for a free consultation so we can acquire a better understanding of how we can help you overcome your struggle with addiction.

Further reading on addiction counselling:

  • Internet Addiction: Laura Perdrew
  • Addiction the brain disease: Dale Carison
  • The Porn Addiction Cure:Paul Stephenson
  • Rewired a new approach to addiction: Erica Spiegelman

Content is copyright of Harley  Street Psychology™

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