Psychological Dependence: How Does It Develop?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million people aged 12 or older battle substance abuse disorder. This makes combatting addiction an uphill battle which many consider to be the hardest thing they do in life.  

One of the reasons why such is the case is the existence of psychological and emotional issues which manifest beyond the physical side effects of withdrawal. These lead to psychological dependence.

Let’s take a look at psychological dependence and what it entails.

What is psychological dependence?

While physical dependence has to do with the condition of the body in relation to the substance, psychological dependence is the emotional need of the addict for the substance or behavior.

Psychological dependence is referred to a state in which emotional withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, distress and anhedonia come about upon cessation of drug and substance abuse. The cognitive and emotional aspects of addictive behavior which are made prominent during the withdrawal period are the underlying causes of psychological dependence.

How does it develop?

Psychological dependence is consistent with frequent exposure to drugs, behavioral activity and other stimuli. The mechanism which generates the dependence is a change in neurotransmitter activity in the brain or a case of altered receptor expression.

When human beings undergo withdrawal, their brain activity exhibits lower levels of dopamine and serotonin. The brain activity also shows lower levels of dynorphin and norepinephrine which can lead to unhappiness, anxiety and depression.

Psychological Dependence: How Does It Develop?

Since most of the symptoms caused by altered brain activity aren’t obvious, individuals are able to adapt and hide feelings of anxiety by engaging in stimuli of their choices, which may or may not worsen their condition.

What are some symptoms of psychological dependence?

The condition of psychological dependence affects people’s emotions and behaviors to a significant extent. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include reduced ability to feel pleasure, general dissatisfaction with life, being in a state of constant uneasiness, depression and anxiety.

The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person, depending on the individual’s type of addiction and progress.

Psychological Dependence: How Does It Develop?

The treatment for these symptoms involves a combination of therapy and counseling sessions, exercising, and even medication.  

If your psychological dependence is preventing you from discovering your true potential, visit Omega Recovery Transformation Healthcare in Austin. Our rehabilitation programs will help you overcome challenges in a safe environment for your mental well-being.

Contact us today!

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