Previously in my dissertation I have discussed the prevalence of technology addiction and have pointed out reasons why it may exist as a phenomenon. I have also examined the reasons why and how a person may become addicted to technology. In this section of my dissertation, I discuss addiction on its own merits and why people may be drawn to addiction when there is no chemical stimulation.
Many people are aware of chemical dependency, and it is often referred to as an addiction. People become addicted to chemicals that release endorphins in the brain. This may through legal methods such a with prescription drugs, with nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, and may also be through illegal methods such as with illegal drug use. These are more widely understood because they involve a chemical addiction. What is harder to understand is addiction when there is no chemical stimulation.
Things such as gambling and technology addiction are still addictions. Some lump sex addiction in with these too however, there is a form of chemical addiction that may be present during sex.
There are forms of addiction such as gambling and technology addiction that are still addictions even though there is no chemical stimulation. There are even recorded cases of people having addictions to TV shows such as Star Trek, where they physically encounter uncomfortable and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
The reasons behind addictions that lack chemical input may be associated with feelings of helplessness. People are able to switch from non-chemical based addictions to chemical-based addictions and back again without any problems, and in almost all cases it is due to a feeling of helplessness within the individual.
These types of person may, rightly or wrongly, be labeled as people with an addictive personality. Yet, in almost all cases, their addictions are based on misdirected feelings of helplessness. A person that usually feels helpless may react to it in a healthy way even if that reaction is to ignore the problem. People with addictions are often determined to do something about their feelings of helplessness, but in their mind, they resort to addiction because they think it makes them feel better.
This also explains why people with addiction may suddenly give up for no reason, such as the many people that returned from the Vietnam war back to America after being very addicted to heroin in Vietnam. They were able to return home and re-take control of their lives, which is why they could quit heroin very easily. People that re-take control of their lives are often able to break from addiction, but sadly there are many addictions that make a person’s life worse, which makes it all the harder for them to regain control of their lives.
People with technology addictions may be reacting to feelings of helplessness, but instead of dealing with these feelings in the correct way, they instead immerse themselves in their technology. It is a distraction from their real life and so provides temporary relief from their feelings of helplessness. This means that some people that have a technology addiction may be cured with therapy. This therapy may help them overcome their feelings of helplessness, or may help them deal with their feelings of helplessness without resorting to technological stimulation.