Many alcoholics find that once they begin recovery, they are hiding other underlying addictions. This shouldn’t be a surprise as all addictions are very similar and caused by the same conditions.
Addiction is often defined as an obsessive or compulsive need to perform an act, resulting in loss of control, despite negative feedback. We all know what alcoholism looks like. Many of us also know what drug abuse looks like. The hallmarks of these two diseases are equally prevalent in other addictions. Seemingly innocuous, these addictions can create serious problems for many people.
Shopping and spending. “Born to Shop” is the bumper sticker on the car ahead of you, but that woman ain’t kidding. She really was born to shop. It is in her genes to overspend and it is an addiction. This type of behavior often goes hand-in-hand with obsessive compulsive disease (OCD) and manic-depressive or bipolar disease. Big spenders cause big problems for their families and their bank balances.
Work. Everyone knows a “workaholic”. In fact, being a workaholic is considered an advantage in modern-day America. But workaholics endanger their health and the well-being of their families.
Exercise. “You can’t be too rich or too thin.” Well, yes you can. Too much exercise, or anorexia athletica is a way to be anorexic without limiting your food intake. That woman on the treadmill next to you with the killer body may be killing herself.
Eating. Overeaters, undereaters – it is all malnutrition. Malnutrition is one of the main killers of Americans. When we think of malnutrition, we think of starving children in faraway countries. Malnutrition exists today in the form of fast food, large portions, and processed foods. Malnutrition doesn’t just mean not enough food, it means nutrition not fit for human consumption.
Gambling. Gambling addiction is growing at an impressive rate in our country, thanks in part to our friends, the Native Americans. By allowing “Indian Gaming”, Americans no longer have to take a trip to Vegas to feed their addiction. In many states, they can now drive down the street and play the same games and lose the same money. Turning “Texas Hold ‘Em” into a spectator sport, televised daily on television, hasn’t helped either.
Sexual. Sexual addiction has been fed, no doubt, by the amount of pornography and sexual content readily available on the internet. Sexual addicts go to great lengths to fulfill their sexual compulsions – illegal sex, extra-marital affairs, voyeurism, and internet and phone sex.
Internet. The internet has provided our world with a wonderful tool. Used by a compulsive person, however, it can destroy lives. Many people, all over the world, live their lives entirely online. This society of hermits tend to also be unhealthy due to lack of exercise, and subject to one or more other addictions – sexual, gambling, or shopping.