Doctor insights on:
Is Cutting Yourself Addictive
Can cutting or burning yourself to help with emotional pain become addictive? I'm having a really hard time stopping.
Addiction is a condition in which a person has a strong, persistent physical and psychological need for a habit-forming substance (such as alcohol, cigarettes, or cocaine) or an activity (such as gambling). The person usually suffers physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms if he is unable to continue getting what ...Read more
Addictions are comp-: ulsive, mood-altering behaviors that sooner or later cause (often significant) problems in life. What makes them an addiction is that sufferers won't or can't quit despite the problems the behaviors cause. From this point of view, cutting could be an addiction, although is it not one of the classic addictions (alcohol, sex, gambling, drugs, food, etc.) ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
More cutting.: Cutting stimulates the production of endorphins -- opioid-like substances the body produces to manage pain. It can be addictive. Some patients use cutting to: 1) wordlessly communicate distress, 2) take inchoate emotional pain and focus it onto a specific physical site, 3) practice a sense of mastery over pain and bleeding, 4) produce a strange sense of pleasure. Treat like an addiction and stop. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Psych consult: Cutting behavior often results from an underlying psychological problem. A thorough evaluation and treatment plan should be sought from a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Be supportive but firm in directing her towards help. Ultimately, it is up to her to go and you cannot make her get help. ...Read more
A good therapist: It is really important to work with a good therapist to deal with cutting behavior. Whether it is an addiction or not, it is serious and probably medication will be prescribed, but a behavioral strategy is also important. Hospitalization may be necessary to get this symptom under control and prevent a tragic event. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Over-eating?: Do you mean over-eating being addictive? It can become "addictive" to some people because of the content of unhealthy foods. Just like people can be addicted to caffeine, some studies have shown that people can get addicted to the simple sugars or fats found in most unhealthy foods. It also may be a stress relief behavior, eating causing endorphins ("happy/relaxing" molecule) to be released. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Simply because ..: There is a "pleasure center" in your brain designed to respond to good food, good relations, and good work. A substance or behavior that generates a more than expected reward can lead to incentive sensitization if the person is biologically predisposed to addiction. The faster the drug effect reaches and then leaves the brain, the more craving will develop, such as with nicotine or crack cocaine. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
No Studies Yet: There hasn't been much research yet on the addictiveness of different varieties of video games, but it's likely that the key isn't in the genre of the game (shooters, sports, racing, etc.) but in the reward response it triggers in the patient. There is some research into similarites between gaming addiction and gambling addiction exploring the similar responses they both trigger. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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