Symptoms of Psychological Addiction

Discussion in 'General Addiction discussion' started by Forthesevenlakes, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    As we all know, addiction can happen even when a drug is not physically addictive. In the interest of creating a survey or questionnaire to gauge the level of abuse or addiction of a drug user, ol' I am trying to figure out what symptoms of mental/psychological addiction to include. He is thinking especially of those that would pertain to DXM, Ketamine, MDMA, mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelics. Some examples include:

    - Spending a large amount of time thinking about the substance or planning one's next trip.

    - Using a substance again sooner than one expected in order to make up for a negative, disappointing or sub-par experience.

    - Depression or symptoms of craving if one does not use the substance when one was planning to (e.g. not rolling on MDMA on a weekend where one had planned to do so).

    What others can your pet lab rats add?
     
    1. 4/5,
      Awsome, I love research!
      Nov 6, 2006
  2. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Not being able to cope with negative experiances without turning to chemeical
    Basing relationships totaly around certain chemical
    giving up important relationships because of/in order to use chemical
    Taking great personal risk in order to obtain/use chemical
     
  3. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    These are all excellent examples of symptoms. What if a person only uses the chemical a couple times a month, for example, they use DXM biweekly? Could they be psychologically addicted, SWIM wonders? And would they show those symptoms already mentioned?
     
  4. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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  5. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Bi-monthly hardly fits this descriptor, unless the indevidual absolutely cannot go one month without.
     
  6. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    Exactly. Some lab rats I have known could not go one month without their use of DXM, for example, and spent a large amount of time thinking about it. But psychological addiction has many facets. Perhaps a person uses a drug nearly every day, and while they don't physically NEED it to avoid withdrawals, they would meet the criteria You has mentioned. Keep em coming.
     
  7. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Perhaps it could be considered that there are varying degrees of dependence? That would certainly be true of physical dependence. Perhaps the mind could be considered an extension of the physical brain, which is an organ, there for blurring the lines between physical addiction and dependence?
     
  8. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    Many contemporary psychologists would agree with you. To some, there is no "mind", just activity of the physical brain. This would make psychological dependence part of a gradient of physical dependence, as you say. For example, the brain creates certain patterns of activity which result in a desire to use a psychedelic every week or so, this may be similar to the activity which leads one to use an opiate every day.
     
  9. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    So, our fictitious friend, stuck in the compulsive bi-weekly use of DXM is locked in a cycle of atypical physical addiction? One could assume that the natural course of events at some point would be that his use would become more frequent over time and take a greater hold on his mind, if we apply the same model we use for drugs that are physically addicting. Concur?
     
  10. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    I guess the qualifier here would be "atypical" so the progression of the addiction would not necessarily follow strict physical models.
     
  11. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    I would concur, for most people this would become a weekly use, then more often than that. SWIM, speaking from experience, stopped use entirely for years when he noticed that his biweekly use became weekly use. But he suspects that for many habitual DXM users the pattern develops in this way.


    I am thinking that another aspect of addiction is the transition from social use to solo use. Many people start out using drugs with others, at parties, or to enhance social situations. But there seems to be a shift at some point where they start preferring to be alone during their experience, as if the social contact no longer matters to them. I have seen this across the board with many types of drugs. Wonder what could account for this, and if other yous have noticed the same thing.
     
  12. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Perhaps it's a "falling star" effect. I have gone the gamete of habitual abuse with many substances. Initially it begins with experimenting with friends, but as swims use increased, it was not always so with my friends; Soooo, the only option left is to follow the paths of addiction alone, while my friends continued on with their lives.
     
  13. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Wikipedia has this to say:

    SWIM tends to agree, although that's not to suggest that "physical addiction" is necessarily a great piece of terminology either. There's something very artificial/arbitrary about separating the mind and body so sharply. Obviously, physical conditions (e.g. brain chemical balance) can have psychological origins, and psychological issues are affected by brain chemistry. There's hardly any separation between the two, so taking one viewpoint or the other is conditional and based on convenience... in other words, someone involved in selling antidepressants will talk a lot about brain chemistry, and a talk therapist will make a big deal about letting go of the past and such. Both approaches may be used at the same time, and this could be beneficial for some.
     
  14. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Biweekly DXM use IS psychologically addicting. SWIM can tell that from his experience.

    Symtom of psychological addiction:
    - The subject seriously considers taking the same substance twice in a day (this thought comes after a trip, usually)
    - The subject suffers from (non-clinical) depression that cannot be alleviated until his next use.

    Social to solo use: don't think that is a sign of psychological addiction. This is a part of the 12 Step AA program. It's OK to use a substance alone if one can control the use.
     
  15. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    True. I have nothing against solo use of substances per se. But he has noticed many lab rats who INITIALLY used the substance to get them in a social mood or before going out (even with other people not using the substance) eventually seem to make a switch to where they take the substance, but don't end up going out at all. I would consider this different than someone who had always tripped alone, or used substances x, y, or z by themselves.

    Paracelsus - thanks for those symptoms. Those help alot. The twice in a day thing has led more than one lab rat to a disappointing DXM redose during or after a trip, leading to a lengthy period of feeling strung out, but without any profundity to the experience.
     
  16. Klaus

    Klaus Newbie

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    Swim works and has has personal experience of psychological and or physical addiction. I believe the two cannot be separated. looking back many years swim found that what is called psychological addiction is just the start of DEPENDENCE . But I feel there seems to be a difference between craving and needing.
     
  17. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus Platinum Member & Advisor

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    There is a huge difference between psychological and physical addiction. Psychological addiction means consuming the particular drug because of its effects, and considering those effects part of one's life. Physical addiction is, as the name states, body-related, and means withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. The worst addictions are those involving both physical and psychological addiction, like heroin addiction or alcoholism.

    The key to beating psychological addiction is doing something fullfilling, or at least something that keeps your mind off the drugs. Keeping busy is the key.
     
  18. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Did swiPara notice any physical w/d when he quit DXM? How is he doing, anyway?
     
  19. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit Newbie

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    What's psychological addiction? If we're longing for something nice, something that makes us feel good, tastes fantastic, stills our hunger? Nah, not in my book.

    It only becomes an addiction if someone places the object of desire above all else and is willing to go to extremes to get it. If a substance controls ones life it's safe to say he or she is addicted.

    I am fortunately strong enough not to let that happen. He enjoys the finer things in life more than the average individual, but knows he has to manage his appetite - or else.

    Surroundings play a part for sure. On a holyday in a natural environment there's less temptation, amongst friends with a ‘habit’ it's easier to 'give in', because it's so near and regularly pops up as a topic of conversation (ahem). ;)


    ‘Charlie’

    It can happen on a long drive abroad that the thought 'hmm, a line would be nice right now' pops up. But SWIM never had the urge to follow up on that thought and go score some Charlie in a strange place.

    I like Charlie: it's the stuff that helps him do things that are otherwise more difficult or impossible, due to his health problems (chronic pain is one of em). He'd love it if they'd give it on prescription, as it works way better than regular meds. Since that doesn't happen and I have limited funds (again due to health issues), he knows he has to do without it for most of the time. He can decide not to buy any for a month (f.i.) and stick to it, even if friends pass by who offer a line. It would be rude not to accept a line of course, but I am not too tempted to go buy some after that.

    So, despite the circumstances, I have no real psychological addiction to it. He's done years without it, hardly thinking about it unless someone brought it up. Other periods, when it's possible and some good stuff is available, he can use frequently for a while.

    I did notice a greater appetite for Charlie than other drugs though.

    ‘H’

    H for instance is the painkiller par excellence, and the feeling of a warm blanket and - finally - no pain - is indescribable if you've been in pain for most your life. Yet it was never worth the risk of becoming a junkie. So SWIM kept that limited to a few experiences far apart. It never had the same appeal as Charlie, despite the awesome pain killing capacities. A built in warning system perhaps? The negative image? Or just the common sense that this cannot be...?

    Crack

    Crack is the only thing that SWIM really fears. It alters his personality, he becomes greedy (like everyone else involved) and finds it impossible to stop until it's finished, and then some. Although it's been years, it regularly springs to mind, and SWIM imagines how nice it would be to have a ki drop in his lap and disappear from the radar for a month or so. At the same time he dislikes what he becomes on that stuff, and how deeply frustrating it can be if it fails to produce the perfect hit. (Which often happens, urging you to take the next hit, and the next...)

    Crack is just a better way to spell 'psychological addiction'. It gets you like nothing else and you don't even know why... (it's often more frustrating than good, and you still want more).

    The Key

    Generally it's all in the mind, and I think he should be the one in charge of that. Therefore he's very alert on 'hostile takeovers' etc. of any kind. Thus far that always worked. Although he likes to indulge on the good things in life now and then, he always succeeded to maintain (or regain) control.

    Many people don't see the awesome potential and power of the human brain. They see themselves as victims instead of survivors. If you accept that you can overcome an addiction you can! It's as simple as that. Therapy, AA and whatever are just (lengthy) ways to convince you of that fact. Maybe they're useful for many people, but if you're focused and motivated enough you can do it just as well on your own steam. In the end you'll have to do it yourself anyway. Recognize that power and use it!

    .
     
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  20. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Hlucn8: Even if DXM is an opioid (chemically speaking), except feeling tired and drained no serious Withdrawals symptoms occured. I am now over his addiction and has no desire to use DXM anymore, but even if he would, I don't think I would get addicted to it again. He'll wait some time,and then maybe try something else (he is getting materials for shroom growing right now :D).

    -The subject finds it impossible to imagine a life without the particular substance.