An addiction is an obsessive, uncontrollable and often damaging attachment to an activity, behavior or substance.
There are records of a huge variety of addictions across the world, from substance abuse to odd addictions to eating inedible objects such as glass and sofa foam. More common types of addiction include alcoholism, smoking, drugs, gambling and Internet addiction. Awareness is currently being raised about other, less common and accepted addictive behaviours such as sex addiction, porn addiction and love addiction.
Addictions are a more powerful and more dangerous advancement from a habit. A habit is a behavioural pattern that:
- is an automatic response
- has become second nature due to frequent repetition
- is not particularly damaging.
Habitual behaviour is a natural part of our lives and includes everything from changing gears as you drive, to tucking your hair behind your ear. Of course, some habits can be bad. We commonly refer to things like forgetting to wash up, or biting our nails as ‘bad habits’. These bad habits can be broken because they are, more often than not, unconscious or passive actions. Once we get a conscious handle on them, we can stop them.
Addictions on the other hand, are conscious and impulsive responses that can become very difficult to control.
Hypnotherapy for addiction
How does hypnotherapy for addiction work? Hypnotherapy aims to get to the route of the addiction by inducing a state of heightened awareness in the patient. In this relaxed and open state, the patient becomes more susceptible to suggestion, which the hypnotherapist can take advantage of by talking over different ideas about the substance or activity the patient is addicted to. A hypnotherapist will attempt to help the patient gain control over their addiction while providing the support and guidance required to alter ingrained behavioural patterns.