Addiction is different for everyone. It is often referred to as a complex disease. It affects every part of a person’s being. Not only can it impact a person’s physical well-being, but it also can cause significant mental chaos.
That said, there’s a significant difference between physical vs psychological dependence. They can occur separately or together depending on the substance you abused and the severity of the addiction.
Regardless of what time of dependence you or a loved one is facing, addiction therapy services at Crest View Recovery Center are geared to help break free from the bonds of substance abuse. We work to detox the body and retrain the way of thinking and habits that led to addiction.
Now let’s take a look at the differences between physical and psychological dependence. What do the symptoms of each look like? How does someone break away from dependence? What types of therapy does this include?
Physical dependence is referred to as chronic use of a substance that creates tolerance with continuous use. Any abrupt or gradual withdrawal of the substance will then cause the user to unfavorable feelings or symptoms.
So, when people think of the term “drug dependence”, the physical aspect is generally the first thing that comes to mind. Whether it’s a harmful illicit drug like heroin or something seemingly harmless like caffeine, your body responds adversely without the substance. This gives you a better understanding of physical dependence.
Regardless of your substance of choice, users will go through withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit. Different substances cause different withdrawal symptoms. At a minimum, they’ll be uncomfortable. For long-term users, however, the withdrawal process can even be deadly depending on which substance they are detoxing from. For example, alcohol and benzos can produce potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms.
Typical withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Sweating or chills
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to eat
Often times, medically-assisted treatment required to minimize the discomfort associated with the detox process to break the physical dependence.
And while a medical detox can go a long way to addressing physical dependence, those with a psychological dependence will require much more.
Unlike physical dependence, psychological dependence occurs when people experience a mental desire for their substance of choice. This emotional state is often associated with a certain behavior. This generally what causes the psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Sleeping issues
- Lack of Motivation
Unlike physical withdrawal symptoms, psychological withdrawal symptoms often last much, much longer. It is because, generally, certain behavior is deeply associated with substance use.
Marijuana is a popular example. Although it lacks the physically addictive qualities of alcohol or heroin, people who smoke marijuana regularly make “getting high” a top priority in their lives. And usually, it is used ritually, like before going to work, or right after getting home. Therefore every morning or evening, there is that psychological trigger that makes an individual remember using marijuana. This why recovery is a life long process.
You can develop a psychological dependence on virtually any substance. When individuals use drugs or drink alcohol, it triggers a dopamine release, which initially makes individuals feel great. Problems arise, however, when people use to re-create those feelings.
If you’ve found that chasing a high is interfering with other elements of your life, it may be time to seek substance abuse treatment programs at a professional rehab facility.
Breaking Physical and Psychological Dependence
Many individuals start the addiction recovery process at a medical detox facility. While this process effectively cleanses the body of harmful drug use, detox by itself doesn’t automatically lead to recovery. In essence, this process is only addressing physical dependence. It takes more to break you or your loved one’s psychological dependence. It is important to address the symptoms associated with both physical dependence and psychological in-depth to prevent relapse.
A professional rehab facility like Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina can teach individuals how to change addictive behaviors and embrace recovery. We have several different types of therapy programs that help individuals retrain their thinking and behavior patterns.
At Crest View Recovery Center, we offer both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that help change the way a person thinks. Here is a quick breakdown of each:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – A counselor collaborates with a participant to root out faulty reasoning. In some situations, this involves the recognition of cognitive distortions, and then they begin the process of cognitive restructuring. Individuals are then able to replace self-destructive with positive actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy – This type of therapy is known as a branch of CBT. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is basically a form of CBT that focuses more on individuals dealing with co-occuring disorders (people suffering from both substance use disorder and mental illness also known as dual-diagnosis). This treatment has more emphasis on learning how to manage the more intense emotions that come with mental illness.
Getting Your Life Back on Track After Physical and Psychological Dependence
Beating psychological dependence on drugs or any substance is a little like quitting smoking. With the help of a licensed psychiatrist, you’ll learn how to “outsmart” the cravings by altering your routine and substituting healthy behavior like yoga therapy and meditation therapy.
Physical activity helps keep your mind off of drugs. So is family support. Your family relationships may have been damaged while you were suffering from addiction. Through family therapy, we’ll help your family understand your addiction and help you mend broken relationships.
Start taking your life back today. We can help you through the dangerous and difficult withdrawal process and then get you back on your feet living a happy, sober life. Contact Crest View Recovery Center today at 866.327.2505.