All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.

Helen Keller

Therapy for addictive behaviours

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Addiction or Dependence Disorder as a physiological, behavioural, and cognitive phenomena in which, the use of a substance, behaviour or person takes on a much higher priority for the individual than other behaviours that once had greater value. An individual begins to lose control over their intake, behavioural action, frequency and termination of the addictive stimulus. Types of stimulus may include nicotine, self-harm, co-dependency, alcohol, sex, gaming, social media, gambling, eating/ under-eating, prescription or recreational drugs. Once a person becomes a full blown addict then it is a very difficult, expensive and painful process of rehabilitation. An addict will often need long-term treatment at an institution and a commitment to a 12 step program.

Risk factors may include a genetic predisposition (addiction in the family), environmental traumas, low self-esteem, drug sensitivity, low impulse control (unmanaged ADHD), mental illnesses and cultural exposure. My passion is to help adolescence and families detect the early signs of addictive behaviour and deal with it before it becomes uncontrollable.

Remember that not every teenager will need counselling. Only when the behaviour becomes unmanageable and it begins to affect their daily functioning.