We know that physical dependence can be very painful and require special detox assistance. We can identify, with observation, the symptoms and measurable affects of both physical addiction and psychological dependence. Though there are distinctions that we consider exclusively physical or psychological, the reality is that there is a symbiotic relationship between physical and psychological dependence. Can you really isolate physical and psychological dependency with the knowledge of the interconnectedness of mind, body, and psyche? What is psychological dependence and how does our understanding of it aid in freeing someone from addiction and identifying areas for further awareness and recovery needs? These are a few questions I’ll explore here in this article.
The Separation of Psychological State and Body
From a broad perspective, there is no such thing as pure physical dependence or pure psychological dependence because all psychological and emotional processes are connected to physiology, and vice versa. So much of sensation, experience, and physically manifested symptoms are translated through the conditioned mind. It would be impossible to completely separate physical from psychological dependence. Though we do have general compartmentalized definitions we often are referring to when focused on one or the other. To say that one is not as serious as the other is sort of like saying physical pain is not as uncomfortable as emotional pain, when in reality it all gets translated through the mind, so it’s very much connected and dependent on a person’s particular makeup and unique experience, so what exactly do we mean when we refer to psychological dependence?
The Meaning of Psychological Dependence
The term psychology generally refers to behavioral processes that pertain to emotions or the mind. So it could be accurate to say that the term psychological dependence most commonly refers to the cognitive and emotional aspects of addiction. Some symptoms that are often classified in this particular category are:
- Mental health issues that come on during withdrawal, such as anxiety and depression
- Mood patterns that come on in withdrawal from certain substances, such as irritability, restlessness, agitation
- Appetite changes surrounding substances use or withdrawal
- Issues with sleep Issues with denial, or false perceptions of control over use
- Obsession of chosen substance
- Cognitive issues such as concentration, memory, and problem-solving
Optimal Personal Environment: A Key to Freedom from Psychological Dependence
A number of factors feed into the manifestation of addiction in general, and more specifically into the momentum of psychological dependence:
• Habitual neural connections
• Poor self-care habits
• Subconscious mind programming
• Environmental triggers
• Genetic makeup
It becomes important first to gain awareness of all the ways in which the mind switches into habitual responses of psychological dependence. There is power in conscious awareness, in exploration of the true Self, and in finding an identity independent of the limitations of psychological patterns of dependence. It is helpful to have a supportive community dedicated to recovery to assist in this process.
Oasis Recovery helps address each of these root causes of psychological dependence by guiding and supporting individuals into their own insight and power. Using many different modalities one can build new connections at Oasis Recovery. New connections on the outside lead to new connections on the inside, which lead to new ways of being in the world, free from psychological dependence. If you want to learn how to be free from psychological dependence in a safe supportive treatment environment click here.