Guide to Psychological Dependence

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

An image of a brain | Guide to Psychological Dependence

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

We hear a lot about the dangers of drug addiction in the news, media, and others. Most of us are aware of some of the dangers, but we may not know the various sides of addiction. Most things you hear in the news is focused on physical addiction and withdrawal. This is a huge factor that people must cope with, but there is another side to things too, namely, psychological dependence.

You may not have heard as much about psychological addiction, but it can play a large part in your overall success in getting on the right pathway. Even if certain drugs don’t have as much physical sway over people, they can still have a psychological and emotional hold that is real. That’s why it’s critical to seek addiction treatment.

To learn about your treatment options, contact Renaissance Recovery at [Direct] today.

Understanding Addiction and Psychological Dependence

To gain a deeper understanding of psychological dependence, it’s helpful to understand how addiction works. Addiction works in a cyclic manner, which means one part feeds off the other part. In physical addiction, your body becomes tolerant of a new substance over time, and you won’t feel the effects of it as readily. These leads people to increase the amount of drug they were using. If they try to scale back, they will feel withdrawal symptoms. Thus, the cycle of addiction begins.

In addition, the brain suppresses the natural chemicals that make you feel happy or “good.” Instead, it relies on the drug or alcohol to create those chemicals. So, over time, you could get depressed without the chemical substance, because your brain isn’t making it like it once was.

About Psychological Dependence

Now, let’s look at psychological dependence. It is slightly different from physical addiction because it involves the emotions versus the body. The way in which it happens is when a person continually uses a drug repeatedly. Just the act of doing the drug continually makes the action an engrained routine. Therefore, quitting will cause emotional distress.

Psychological dependence involves the emotions as mentioned above. You become attached to the drug and the routine of doing it. It’s more common to have a psychological dependence on a drug that is not as physically addictive, such as marijuana. However, it still requires the aid of rehab to make a successful recovery.

What Are The Symptoms Of Psychological Addiction?

Of course, everyone handles psychological addiction differently so that symptoms may vary. However, here are some common symptoms:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Increased tension or stress
  • Cravings for the drugs
  • Unhappiness without the drug
  • Agitation or distress
  • Tiredness or lethargy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression

When dealing with an addiction, whether it’s a physical or psychological addiction, the only solution is to seek substance abuse treatment from qualified professionals.
Therapy is a critical starting point for healing because it will address the root causes of your addiction. Whatever the reasons are that led to your addiction, therapy will help uncover it.

An image of a brain model | Guide to Psychological Dependence

Physical Dependence Vs. Psychological Dependence

most commonly people will differentiate physical vs. psychological dependence as physical effects the actual aspects of your body and its reward system, whereas psychological will effect you behavior and feelings.

Physical dependence is the actual chemical changes in your brain due to substances and your body’s reaction to being accustomed to the chemical in your brain. When this physical dependence is built up over time it can be hard to quite using a certain drug because your body will go through withdrawal symptoms.

Whereas Psychological dependence is much more emotions driven and can often be seen for those who use substances as a coping mechanism, that will continue to use drug despite negative health concerns, and those forfeiting activities in preference to substance abuse.

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Seek Help for Psychological Dependence At Renaissance Recovery

You can find hope and healing at Renaissance Recovery. We help overcome the psychological dependence of whatever drug you’re dealing with. You can start the process by talking to an experienced intake coordinator and beginning the admissions process.

Our caring therapists will lead you along the pathway through the use of evidence-based treatment therapies and programs. Some of these programs include:

Don’t let psychological dependence hold you back from enjoying a full life. You can overcome the drug you are addicted to by reaching out to a quality rehab center. Contact Renaissance Recovery  at 866.330.9449 today, and we’ll walk beside you every step of the way to a brighter future.

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Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

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Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

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Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country