What are the Psychological Causes of Addiction

Psychologists are concerned with improving people’s quality of life and life satisfaction. Psychologists believe that behaviours that increase people’s well-being and life satisfaction are adaptive. Behaviours that limit people’s ability to function and reduce life satisfaction are referred to as maladaptive behaviours. Because addiction is a dangerous and unadjustable behaviour, psychological models help understand why people engage in these unhealthy behaviours. The psychology behind addiction spans many fields: be it illness or personal failure; lifestyle and childhood influences; family history and socioeconomic demographics; and dozens of other factors that cannot be accounted for or measured. People can find Orange County rehab as the best rehab to get out from each and everything they are addicted to.

Psychologists suggest several possible causes of addiction. First, people may engage in dangerous behaviour because of a disorder, or “psychopathology,” which manifests as mental illness. Second, people can learn unhealthy behaviours in response to the environment. This in turn determines their behaviour. To the extent that a person’s thoughts and beliefs are unrealistic or dysfunctional, their behaviour is also affected. Many of these theories have not been tested or applied to specific types of addiction. However, scholars and practitioners generally assume that these theories apply to all addictions in some way. As research in this area continues, people may learn that some theories are more applicable to certain types of addiction.

The psychopathological addiction model

These disorders can include cognitive difficulties, mood disorders, and other mental illnesses. Addiction and other mental disorders usually occur together (referred to as co-morbidities). Approximately half of the people seeking addiction treatment also have a significant mental disorder. Related to psychopathology is the concept of an addictive personality. Certain personality traits can be a factor underlying all addictions. 

At Orange County rehab people can understand that addiction can destroy their life. This can include denial of obvious issues, problems with emotion regulation, and problems with impulse regulation. However, addiction occurs most often with a class of disorders called personality disorders. Psychotherapy will attempt to identify and resolve underlying mental disorders. This may involve restructuring one’s personality and/or improving one’s cognitive and emotional functioning.

The root cause of addiction

At the root of addictive behaviour is a form of emotional distress, a problem buried so deep in a person’s subconscious that it is too overwhelming or an unattainable challenge to face. To relieve stress, to get rid of it, overindulgence; the fun of a drunken night or the thrill of placing expensive bets. Stopping the threatening behaviour directs the mind back to the source of the emotional distress; The presence of addictive behaviour indicates that there is no healthy coping mechanism. The only effective mechanisms are those that are disruptive and unhealthy such as substance use or problem behaviour.

Some people can stop drinking or compulsive behaviour because their emotional distress does not manifest as one of these addictive behaviours; However, for many others, drug or alcohol use is a sign of a problem they may not even know about, and that requires treatment such as long-term therapy and counselling. People who are present in Orange County rehab are learning how to quit an addiction easily.

Associative Learning

Dopamine is naturally produced by the brain when someone does something fun and useful. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s a survival technique; Eating and drinking are enjoyable, but it also ensures the survival of individuals, families and the species as a whole. The production of dopamine is one of the main drivers of sex because, while sex is a pleasurable and rewarding activity, it is also necessary for survival. One effect of dopamine production is to create memories of experiences that compel us to seek those experiences again.

In many cases of chronic or heavy substance use, it changes brain chemistry to the point where normal activity no longer produces the same amount of dopamine as before. As part of associative learning, the brain is reprogrammed to associate euphoric bouts of drug or compulsive behaviour with only feelings of pleasure, reward, and the expectation of more pleasure and reward. Healthy activities no longer register on the radar, so they are discarded and eventually forgotten.

The chemical effects of drugs on the brain have been revealed by brain imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, which show the extent to which the pleasure areas of an addict’s brain are damaged by long-term or severe drug exposure.