Understanding addictions, regardless of type carries with it the same basic symptoms of obsession, loss of control, compulsion and the continual use regardless of negative consequences all make up an addiction.
A person can become addicted to any substance, activity or behavior this includes everyday type things. Due to the fact that activities such as washing, eating, shopping, cooking and exercising can become addiction it has become more difficult for people to figure out if they are addicts.
It is also important to know that an addiction is psychological as well as physical and that it is possible to have one with out the other. Some types of activities and substances that people have become addicted to include: sex, work, exercise, overeating, under eating, dieting, shopping, cocaine, heroin, internet surfing, gambling, alcohol, methamphetamine, hand washing, and mairjuana addiction.
Why do people become addicted to these activities and substances? The best explanation is that it may create a chemical change in the brain. This chemical change triggers a craving. When you do something that you enjoy, endorphins are released in the brain, they make you feel good.
This provides a sense of euphoria. That euphoria can be craved, and a person may find they need it on a consistent basis. The problem is that the more often you do that activity, the more of the activity you will need to reach that same euphoric feeling.
The euphoria can offer people who have problems dealing with depression, anxiety, loneliness. The harder it is for them attain the euphoria only fuels their depression or anxiety which then leads to the compulsion to do the activity more often and for longer periods.
This response, when the behavior you were doing or using to attain euphoria also provides you with a negative consequence, yet you keep doing it, you are addicted.