Top 5 Modern Addictions
Posted on Sep 28, 2011

5. Oniomania (Shopping Addiction)

If you type “Lindsay Lohan shopping” into Google Image search, you will be flooded by over 1.3 million results. A popular tabloid even claimed that Lohan has turned to a hypnotist to cure her shopping addiction.

It’s not just celebrities who are afflicted by this addiction: we don’t have to look far to find Oniomaniacs or compulsive shoppers in almost every neighborhood and family. Compulsive shopping can often lead to hoarding and requires help through hoarding treatment centers. According to a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, compulsive buying affects more than 1 in 20 American adults.

This impulse to buy beyond needs or means has been linked to depression and has led many shopaholics to the brink of bankruptcy.

4. Tanorexia (Tanning Addiction)

Thank goodness for Donatella Versace. Not for her fashion line, but for her recent images that have deterred many people from falling prey to a tanning addiction. The medical community is concerned about tanning, and advises against the use of tanning beds. “The International Agency for Research on Cancer has raised their warning of tanning beds from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans” (livescience.com). Yet, tanorexia (or tanning addiction) continues to be a problem, especially among women.

Addicts might feel that they are just getting a healthy glow, but a 2006 study at Wake Forest University study found that the UV rays of tanning beds produce feel-good endorphins in body. So, a disruption in tanning schedules triggers withdrawal symptoms like in cases of alcohol/drug abuse.

3. Sex Addiction

The story doing rounds is that Tiger Woods is being treated at a behavioral health and addiction center in Hattiesburg because he just couldn’t get enough sex.  The craving for sexual gratification is as old as human history. But modern dysfunctional families are often blamed for turning a human urge into sexually compulsive behavior, and some feel that easy Internet access has only added to the woes.

The American Psychological Association does not put sex addiction under a disorder that can be diagnosed. But growing numbers of self-help groups and sex recovery centers like Sexual compulsive Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous show a problem that is present and needs medical attention.

2. Internet Addiction

If you have been online for hours at stretch, browsing through the net aimlessly and do not want to shut down your PC, it is probably okay for now. But if this happens to be your daily routine, a disruption in which leaves you irritable, you might be suffering from an Internet Addiction Disorder (IA).

Psychiatrists world over are acknowledging the mood-altering effects of online pornography, gambling, gaming, networking, blogging, etc.  In some countries, Internet addiction has become a serious social problem. A South Korean government survey of 2007 found that 30 per cent of its citizens under 18 were in danger of becoming Internet addicts. Here in the U.S., a residential treatment center opened its doors for Internet addicts in 2009.  Located near Seattle, Washington, it is called ReStart and offers a 45-day program for recovery.

1. Plastic Surgery Addiction

When God gives you lemons, make lemonades. This is past tense. Now, when God gives you lemons, you can turn them into anything of any dimension.

Negative body image is driving hordes of people under the surgical knife. A little nip, a bit of a tuck, some enlargement, and a whole lot of alignment…People are doing everything and paying anything to get closer to perfection.

In 2006, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons warned its members about patients with a body dysmorphic disorder or “imagined ugly syndrome”. Aesthetic surgery is an unending journey for these addicts because they are never happy with the results. The organization reported an alarming study that found forty percent of Botox users admitting to being lured by the attraction of continued treatment.

The image of Jocelyn Wildenstein, an American socialite who has spent millions to get the perfect look, mirrors the horrors of being a plastic surgery addict.


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