Addiction is any habit that you continue to do even though it brings harmful consequences to you. The brain changes chemically and physiologically when a person has an addiction. When an individual has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, his or her brain loses the ability to control the normal functions of their body. The individual becomes physically dependent on the drugs or alcohol and goes through painful withdrawals without continued use of them.
People who live with an addiction often have an underlying mental health issue as well. Hoarding is when a person has such a strong attachment to an object that he or she cannot get rid of it. The person is emotionally attached to the object and keeps it to avoid the negative feelings that would be produced if he or she threw the object away.
A person who hoards has a hard time of letting go of things that might be reminiscent of a loved one. The person may experience a high when he or she comes in possession of the object. The person avoids the negative emotions that come with discarding the object. Hoarding and addiction exist with other mental health conditions.
Hoarding is linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Addiction is reinforced by a release of dopamine, which causes the pleasurable feelings and does not always involve drugs or alcohol. When the behavior is repeated obsessively, there is no control and a person will continue the behavior despite the negative consequences. Hoarding is an addictive behavior that is reinforced to avoid negative feelings of loss and anxiety.
Addiction is driven by the reward of the substance used or by the behavior. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she needs more and more to attain the same pleasurable feelings they felt the first time. With hoarding, the reward is getting a new item to add to the collection. If a person with a hoarding addiction suddenly stopped the behavior, he or she would not experience withdrawals like a person with a drug or alcohol addiction does. He or she will suffer from anxiety and panic.
There are treatment programs for hoarding. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy work well. Hoarding is not curable but needs to be managed by the person with the hoarding problem.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help now. Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204