Most of us typically associate addiction with alcohol or drug abuse, but it's clear that addictive behaviors go far beyond. A universal definition of Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance, behavior, or activity despite negative consequences (harmful consequences to the individual's health, mental state or social life) (NAPS)- Often accompanied by physical or psychological dependence, withdrawal syndrome and tolerance.

Addiction can in theory be derived from any rewarding behavior, and is believed to be strongly associated with the the brains reward center. Although with continued use, the goal is not so much to induce pleasure as it is to relieve the anxiety caused by the absence of the addiction, causing it to become used compulsively.

Addictions Purpose

People use an addiction as a way to cope, to fix situations, and feel better. Addictions may block out sensations of pain, uncertainly, or discomfort. It may create powerfully distracting sensations that focus and absorb attention. It may enable a person to feel "okay" about some insurmountable problems. It provides an artificial, temporary feeling of security or calm, of self-worth or purpose or accomplishment, of power and control, or intimacy or belonging.

Addicts use their addiction as it may help to:

• Take away emotional pain
• Feel good about the self
• Fill internal emptiness
• Escape loneliness
• Relieve anxiety
• Feel connected
• Feel a sense of self
• Feel purpose in life
• Coping mechanism
• Escape realities

2 Types of Addiction: Process and Substance Addiction

Addiction/Dependence does not have to be limited only to substances; even activities and behavioral patterns can become serious addictions.

Most are aware of the ingested addictions like alcohol, drugs, food, etc.---but many are less clear on this other aspect of addiction called the Process addiction. A "Process" addiction is an addiction to a way of living, to self-defeating behaviors; a behavioral addiction affecting cognition and emotions. Many research studies have shown Process Addictions affect the same brain reward system as chemical addictions.

Examples of Process Addiction:
Shopping, gambling, Internet addiction, computer addiction, sexual addiction, pornography addiction, eating, work addiction ... AND Love addiction. Love addiction is a Process Addiction that should be taken serious. The key to any "addiction" is the obsessive and compulsive need or dependence upon a substance, an object, a relationship (love), an activity, or a thing.

Love is an ideal vehicle for addiction because it can so exclusively claim a person's consciousness. Addictive relationships are patterned, predictable, and isolated. When a person goes to another with the aim of filling an inner void, the relationship quickly becomes the center of his or her life. The core of addiction comes from an internal emptiness that continually calls out to be filled up.

Like any other Process Addiction, the consequences of love addiction are progressive and predictable. Too often, love addicts stay stuck in deep denial and minimizes negative consequences that are happening. The desire for the same rush from a person tends to lead to escalation. Shame and guilt increase, as the lifestyle becomes inconsistent with the personal values, beliefs, and spirituality.

The truth is-- the longer love addiction is minimized, ignored, or denied; the more serious the consequences become.

Staying in denial and on a continued path of love addiction, negative consequences are sure to continue.

Consequences including the loss of:
•Fulfilling Love Relationships

Recovery from other types of addictions is possible... Recovery from love addiction is also possible!

Author's Bio: 

Jim Hall is a Counselor, Therapist, and Love Addiction Specialist- is Pioneer in the field of love and relationship addiction and how to recover from love addiction. Jim specializes in the treatment of Love Addiction, Addiction Recovery, and Relationship Issues. With his expert knowledge and caring understanding, Jim helps love addicts worldwide overcome their love addiction provioding recovery help online- healing tools and recovery strategies -- along with Insightful Articles/Writings on love addiction, recovery, and relationship issues available at his website

The author of a the first powerfully insightful book on addictive love relationships, The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiction- available in eBook form on his website. He is currently developing a special series of Self Help Recovery Workbook Manuals for love addicts who want to break toxic relationship cycles- all will be available on his website.

Downloadable Ebooks at
The BREAK-UP WORKBOOK for Love Addicts
•The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiction:
Understanding the intricacies of addictive relationships
A beginners recovery handbook for love addicts