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How Stress Can Lead to Addiction

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 4 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Beating Addictions Addictions Financial

Many of us during the course of our lives will find that we are suffering from high levels of stress. This can be caused by a great many things; financial worries family crisis, problems at work or bereavement.

Stress and Addictions

The problem with these high levels of stress however is that not only do they have side effects that manifest themselves as physical and emotional ailments but they can also lead to addictions, which the individual might not have been prone to prior to their bouts of stress.

Nicotine and Alcohol are the two most common types of addiction to follow bouts of high level stress. Many people turn to cigarettes and alcohol as a means of relaxation especially after a long day at the office where problems have been a constant source of emotional upset. This tendency to ‘just have the one drink’ can lead to more alcohol being consumed and eventually – if the problem continues unchecked – a dependency on alcohol that can also lead to physical conditions manifesting themselves.

Some of the physical ailments to accompany an addiction to alcohol are persistent headaches, malnourishment, and bladder and bowel complaints and in severe cases liver damage, which can be irreversible.

Of course it is not just cigarettes and alcohol that are addictive and given the level of stress suffered by the individual – and indeed also their budget – these factors can lead them to try other means of relaxation.

We of course refer in this instance to the taking of illegal substances such as Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and the likes. There are many variations of these drugs available on the open black market and all of them vary not only in price but addictiveness.

It is not uncommon for people who work in the financial services sector to suffer from drug addiction as their fast moving lifestyles determine that they require a fast moving solution to their stress levels; and one of the most common methods of reducing their stress is to take these drugs.

That said these drugs are available to anyone who has the money to spend and many people who find that they are suffering from stress which has not been dealt with by their GP, will invariably turn to drugs as a means to alleviate the problem.

Stress Chain

The stress-addiction-stress chain is something that many of us may be familiar with. We become stressed so we turn to a narcotic, alcohol, nicotine or gambling as a means to alleviate the stress and then become addicted. This addiction brings about its own level of stress and so the problem is compacted and will inevitably reach crisis point.

It is worth noting that addictions do not just have to confine themselves to narcotics or alcohol. Actually physical events can also become addictive; sex for example, self harm, even the more mundane shopping can be addictive and can compound stress levels further because the individual is spending money that he or she does not necessary have freely available to spend and may be depriving his or her family of food and necessities just to fund their addiction.

It is important to mention that if you or a loved one is suffering from stress the problem is best discussed rather than left unspoken. Stress is something that – as we have already mentioned – will spiral out of control if left unchecked and the ability to talk about it may not relieve it but will certainly go some way to helping the suffering deal with it.

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