What are the psychological impacts of addiction, impulse control disorders, and compulsive disorders?

What addictions, impulse control disorders, and compulsive behaviours have in common is a failure to resist temptations, urges, or impulses that ultimately lead to harm to oneself or others. Harmful behaviours may include the use and abuse of substances (such as alcohol, nicotine, or drugs), gambling, trichotillomania (hair-pulling), compulsive shopping, overeating, overuse of social media, and hoarding. These behaviours can negatively impact your relationships, health, and career.  They can also be difficult to control, and are often associated with guilt, depression, and anxiety.

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How do I know if I need help? A checklist of symptoms:

  • Your addiction takes up significant amounts of your time (thinking, planning, and doing)
  • A tendency to give up or pass on important social functions or activities in order to engage in your addiction
  • Unsuccessful attempts to reduce or cease the addiction behaviour, or at times  feel a sense of loss of control over behaviour
  • Negative consequences of your addiction can include loss of relationships, finances, work, or health
  • Emotional instability, anxiety and depression in absence of or in response to addiction behaviours
  • Downplaying, concealing, or making excuses about your addiction behaviour

If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms to a severe degree, you may need support.

How Seed Psychology can help

At Seed Psychology, our psychologists are specialised in treating addictive and destructive behaviours ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to overworking, disordered eating, procrastinating, and other avoidant or self-sabotaging behaviours. Habit changing can be very challenging, but very rewarding and empowering. If you are finding it difficult to overcome your destructive habits in order to create the change or progress you desire, we can help.

What are the treatment options?

A range of therapies and approaches may be explored. Following your initial session, your psychologist will discuss which approaches may be best suited to managing your issue. These might include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focussed Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Gestalt Therapy Treatment.