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How Stress Can Lead to Addiction

What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘addiction’? If you thought of alcohol, smoking or drugs, you are not alone! For a very long time, it was believed that addiction is synonymous with the usage of substances like alcohol or cigarettes, but from the 1970s onwards, different research operations have led psychologists to realize that addiction is far bigger than just that. It has been found that the ingestion of alcohol may not necessarily lead to addiction, and that people can be addicted to things beyond just substances! A strong link has been established between stress and addiction and Team Illuminations sought to throw light on this link via this article.

How Stress Leads to Addictio

Understanding stress is simple. When your mind perceives danger or some sort of a threat in any given situation, it triggers a biological response that helps you deal with this stress. The release of chemicals and hormones helps you engage your fight-or-flight response that is used to cope with the stressor or run away from it. Biologically, your body should return to a state of relaxation after the stressful situation has been dealt with. However, an overload of stress can imply that your body finds it difficult to activate its natural response, leading to a negative impact on your overall well-being in the long run.

Stress is not always bad for you – in fact, it can serve you well, when used as a motivator, or even as an alarm to be careful. That being said, when stress is prolonged, it can contribute to different long-term health problems, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, difficulty in sleeping, clouded memory and so on.  Often, people suffering from long-term stress, look for short-term solutions that can help them combat the different ill-effects of this elongated period of stress.


These short-term solutions may involve engaging in behaviours or indulging in substances that make you feel better temporarily. Since the effects of these relief-inducing behaviours or substances are short-lived, you may end up turning to these more and more, so that you can continue to cope with the stress. As you continue to do so, your dependence on these coping mechanisms continues to increase – eventually reaching a point where you find it difficult to cope without these activities. Another harmful effect of being addicted to something is that when you try to cut down access to it, you end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms that seem to cause further health problems – and so, you end up needing even more of the behaviour or substance, so that you can combat the additional stress caused by your withdrawal.


Stress and vulnerability can lead you to be addicted to different things, such as food, shopping, computers, gaming, gambling, sex, smoking alcohol, drugs – and so on. People get addicted to a variety of things that help them feel some sort of a release in the short-term, and it is important to tackle the root cause of these addictions, so as to ensure you don’t relapse into addictive patterns of behaviour. Stress management is important and today, access to de-addiction therapy in Dubai has helped many people effectively combat their stress and live happily without using addictive behaviours to deal with stressors.

Stress Management Solutions (Dubai)

For stress management therapy, Dubai based wellness centre, Illuminations has been widely recognized as a catalyst in helping people de-addict from unhealthy coping mechanisms and actually focus on dealing with stress healthily. Different people react to stress differently and the goal of our experienced practitioners is to understand each individual’s needs before imparting therapy and counselling. Smoking is a common addiction amongst many citizens of Dubai and causes a whole host of illnesses in the long-run, such as respiratory problems and terminal illnesses like cancer. We are well-versed in the art of understanding how your stress could have led to you becoming addicted to smoking and our quit-smoking therapy in Dubai has been very successful in aiding people reduce and even eliminate their dependency on smoking to relieve stress. If you or someone you know if suffering from addiction and/or copious amounts of stress, we are here to help. You can book a counselling session here, where we can chart out an individual, customised plan to help you get rid of addictions and say goodbye to unhealthy amounts of stress!

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