Getting Hooked on Smart Phones

Are You Hooked?

Getting Hooked on Smart PhonesSo many things now a days are almost impossible to avoid or quit, once you have started. I found an article that explored some of the most resistant habits to shake in our society today.

So many things now a days are almost impossible to avoid or quit, once you have started. I found an article that explored some of the most resistant habits to shake in our society today.

  •  Smartphones. Everyone I see on the street, in their car, at the doctor’s office and so on, are hanging onto that phone that is usually attached to their ear. They won’t even turn it off at work, on the weekend or having an evening out with friends because they are afraid of missing that “one” text or post.
  • Caffeine. That morning “jolt” of caffeine is more necessary to most adults than their food. Trying to cut this out of your life will definitely leave you a little antsy and anxious for a while. Maybe even cause a headache. That’s withdrawal.
  • Chocolate and Other Sweets. Wow! I cannot lie! This is me over and over again. Here again, you are getting that caffeine, but I just plain like the taste of chocolate. It seems to be a comfort food for some. This is a food that is high in carbs, fats and sugar, that can affect our brains just like drugs do. I can always expect a headache as well, when I withdraw from chocolate.
  • Shopping. We don’t always need what we buy, but for me it fills the space when I’m depressed as a pick-me-up. The actual term is “needing some dopamine”, which is the feel-good-chemical for your brain. Of course you might have impulse-control or anxiety issues. Clicking online is just too easy these days and can even lead to financial, legal and social problems. Well, darn! This is me again.
  • Gambling. Uh Oh! Another one? This is bigger for some people. Around 8 million Americans have a definite problem with this one. It makes no difference if it is online, at a slot machine or on the poker table. That rush you get is there with the hit of dopamine that gambling provides. Finances, job and family can all go down the drain with too much. At least I am able to control this and use it as only a little enjoyment in lieu of going to the theater.
  • Plastic Surgery. Yeah!! This is one I am not hooked on. (But I probably should be). Many of these people have “body dysmorphic disorder” and are obsessed with defects that only they can see. Some of the same brain chemicals that play in addiction can cause this problem.
  • Tanning. Some people have to get that sunlight that releases chemicals in your body called endorphins, that make you feel so good you might risk sunburns, blisters and skin cancer. Beware of too much sun.
  • Exercise. Working out will help you with other addictions, but be sure you don’t become hooked on the activity itself. Exercise does help the brain but you have to be careful.
  • Social Media. Hooked on that Facebook and Twitter not only takes all of your time, but affects your brain the same way cocaine does. Sharing personal details can create negative things as well.
  • Sex. If sex is uppermost in your mind and maybe dipping into a little porn gives you that satisfaction, it is very risky as you might give up too much to have it. Perhaps you have a hypersexual disorder. Boy, my partner wishes I were a bit more inclined towards this!

Addiction starts when something alters your mood. It really begins as a self-medication to help you manage pain and does so, when you get that reward you seek. It becomes something you just can’t live without. All of these addictions can affect your brain in many of the same ways, but experts don’t agree about how far the similarities go. All kidding aside, this can be a serious illness. Talk to your medical professional if you feel help is needed, before it destroys your life.

-Dr Fredda Branyon

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