Psychological Dependence Risk Factors & Examples What is Psychological Dependence? Video & Lesson Transcript

Nicotine is yet another substance that may frequently produce dependence. Physical dependence describes changes to the body that could be measured in a medical lab test, as a result of addiction. Seizures, rapid heart rate, and measurable changes to serotonin or endorphin levels might be symptoms of physical dependence. Intense cravings are universal to all addiction and are based on altered brain chemistry. Recovery is achieved through psychotherapy, counseling, and substituting the addictive behaviors for healthy alternatives. What is physiological dependence if not a warning that you need to quit using? For many, the withdrawal symptoms are the wake-up call they need to make changes.

what is physiological dependence

Psychological dependence is an emotional state caused by how chemicals affect the brain. A person’s emotional behavior changes, resulting in mood swings, feelings of irritability, and depression. Treatment for psychological dependence varies depending on the substance being used, the frequency of use over a certain period of time, and the person. Treatment for psychological dependence involves the help of a licensed doctor such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

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Constipation and diarrhea are two effects that physically manifest themselves. Having diarrhea can cause dehydration which can lead to other health problems. Insomnia or lack of sleep is another physical addictive dependency attribute versus the psychological dependency attribute. Angry outbursts are another symptom of a physical addictive dependency versus psychological addictive dependency.

  • Paul had knee surgery a few months ago and has a prescription for painkillers, but he sometimes takes a few more pills than he’s supposed to take.
  • Many people find it hard to quit and need help and support from others.
  • Unlike physical dependence, addiction is not normal and considered to be a disease.
  • In fact, most people can manage their physical dependence in an outpatient setting with a simple, slow taper of that substance rather than stopping it abruptly.

Understanding both physical and psychological addiction, how they work and how they go hand-in-hand is important for treatment. Insufficient or poor sleep can lead to other health problems like weight gain, brain fog, and physiological dependence on alcohol a weakened immune system. Tremors or shakes are caused by disruption to certain brain areas that control motor coordination. This can progress to the point of it being difficult to use a writing utensil or silverware.

Physical Dependence

Everything works together to keep all the organs functioning properly and the brain working at optimum levels. But when you put substances into the body, that physiology is disrupted. It adjusts to accommodate the substance so that it can function as needed. But, in order for the body to make that adjustment, it changes how it works. Paul had knee surgery a few months ago and has a prescription for painkillers, but he sometimes takes a few more pills than he’s supposed to take. Since Paul has a prescription, he doesn’t think he has a substance abuse problem. Make a poster, chart, or some other type of graphic organizer that lists the risks factors for psychological dependence.

  • To reiterate, people can develop a chemical dependency through legally prescribed medication.
  • The differences between the two can be hard to distinguish, but one does not mean the other.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy builds on the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • This distinction can be difficult to discern, especially regarding prescribed pain medications, for which needing increasing dosages can represent tolerance.
  • It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

It’s important to remember that you can recover from substance use disorder, whether you notice it during the dependency stage or when you’re already addicted. It’s so much more than overcoming the physical sensation of withdrawal.

Treating Psychological Dependence Vs Physical Dependence

Like opioids, experts tend to consider them relatively safe when a person takes them as needed, sparingly, and for short periods of time. However, the SUD community is trying to make a clear distinction between SUD and physical dependence to avoid confusion, mislabeling, and stigma. A person will also become irritable and crave the drug that makes the negative symptoms to go away. When you forfeit activities that were usually enjoyed before drug use, it is an implication of the social symptoms of an addict. These activities or events, that previously brought joy, are now looked sourly upon due to the substance not being available. Even less problematic discomforts, such as sweating and teary eyes, are both attributes of physical addictive dependence versus psychological addictive dependence.

  • The focus during treatment when the problem is more psychological is generally an evidence-based therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy .
  • However, it can also include other aspects, such as undergoing psychosocial therapy.
  • When dependence turns into addiction it’s a condition that must be monitored for life.
  • It’s also important to note that the presence of psychological dependence and/or physical dependence does not mean that an individual is addicted to a substance.
  • Abruptly stopping this substance disrupts homeostasis, and the body must adapt to not having the drug in the body.

Understanding the mental and psychical aspects behind it can help explain why it’s a complicated disorder. When someone eats a piece of chocolate, the brain can find it very pleasurable and it stimulates the reward center in the brain. Because of this, a person is much more likely to want to eat chocolate regularly in the future.

Combating Symptoms of Withdrawals

This is the process through which a person becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs. Some drugs, like anticonvulsants and antidepressants, describe the drug category and not the mechanism. Anticonvulsants as a group however are known to cause tolerance to the anti-seizure effect. Direct2Recovery specializes in management and treatment options for substance use disorder; alcohol, opiates, heroin and other harmful substances. See the website for more information about dependency subjects and treatment options.

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