Habit or Addiction?
Differenece Between Habit and Addiction
Is the line that separates habit and addiction unclear and perplexing? How can we know if one has developed an unhealthy habit or has become addicted to a substance or a practice? Both a habit and an addiction are rooted in repeated behaviours. Given the difference, it is still quite important to differentiate between them in order to make right decisions and not to lose control over the situation.
A habit is a repetitive action or a routine performed on a regular basis that gets harder to give up as time passes. As human beings we naturally tend to habitual patterns, because repetition makes us feel comfortable and relaxed. The best example of habits can be a morning routine, including brushing teeth, combing hair, having breakfast or a cup of coffee, etc.
As far as an addiction is concerned, it is the abusive use of substance a practice, despite the health damage they cause and the risk they have on one’s life. The most important characteristic of addiction per se is that once the person gets addicted, it becomes impossible for him/her to quit on his/her own. Unlike a habit, an addiction is a disease that affects the brain and needs to be treated.
One notable difference between the two repetitive experiences is the amount of time and effort required to change a troublesome behaviour. Altering habits is possible with minimal effort and time of a person, whereas breaking an addiction requires integrative, usually long-term specialized treatment, psychiatric or medical assistance and follow-up control. Breaking an addiction also features withdrawal symptoms. It should be clearly stated that sometimes troublesome habitual behaviour can develop into an addiction. The last is much more powerful than habits. Addicted people can sacrifice anything in order to pursue a risky practice. Those people in most cases are aware of their mental health problem, yet they continue to engage in problematic and dangerous behavioural patterns.
There are numerous factors that can lead to addiction, i.e. genetic, biological or social. Apart from that, socio-cultural background, psychological condition basically play a crucial role in addiction relapse.
Addiction Is a Mental Condition.
Addiction usually starts with taking drugs “only once”, then, it can be “together with friends”. Further, it leads to an uncontrolled use, or abusive behaviour. Several parts of the brain as the ventricular roof area, the dorsal brain region, and frontal cortex play pivotal role during the addiction period, because they are responsible for producing dopamine, which is responsible for feeling content and happy, reward decision making, logical thinking. Each stage of addiction impacts different brain areas, therefore, addiction development turns to be chaotic, unstable and uncontrolled.
One of the major negative impacts of drugs, for example, is that they make dopamine constantly increased, which makes a person to come up with a wrong choice, or even prevents the person from doing his/her daily activities. Alcohol or drug addiction are proven to have a negative effect on cognitive brain functions such as learning and memorizing. An addict is not able to experience feelings of happiness or excitement as he/she used to do before. The only thing which makes him happy is taking a new dose.
Recovery can take some time. When a person who suffers from an addiction is able to assess his/her behaviour, analyse am addiction’s impact on health, relations with people, carrier opportunities, mental health, then, this person becomes close to recovery.
In NPİSTANBUL Brain Hospital Addiction Center we treat substance use disorders, internet addiction, gambling addiction, eating addiction and disorders, as well as shopping, sex and relations addiction. There are also educational programs for families of people who suffer from an addiction. NPİSTANBUL Brain Hospital’s highly experienced psychiatrists are ready to assist you in breaking any kind of addiction. We apply not only pharmacological methods of treatment, but also minimal-invasive ones, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) and others.