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Physical addiction is biochemical in nature and is independent of social or psychological causes. Physical Addiction occurs when a patient’s body becomes dependent on a particular substance like drugs, alcohol, nicotine and even food. The patient develops a tolerance to the substance and requires a larger dose to get the same effect. When a physically addicted patient stops using the substance, he/she usually experiences symptoms of withdrawal. Depending on the addiction, these symptoms can be severe, and can include tremors, hallucination, diarrhea, among other signs. While Psychological Addiction can occur with Physical Addiction, it is secondary to the actual physical craving or need for the substance and will not cause physical symptoms of withdrawal, but rather an emotional and psychological obsession or persistent thinking about the feeling of being ‘high’ or being satisfied by the substance. Because the symptoms of Physical Addiction are so powerful, the patient may lie or steal to get the substance they need, and the patient’s life will become centered around acquiring and using the substance. In short, when a person no longer has a choice as to whether to take the substance because of the severe symptoms of physical withdrawal that occur without the substance, he/she has become addicted. Tobacco and alcohol addiction can include social components that together with the physical addiction will challenge a patient’s attempts to quit. Studies have shown that tobacco addiction may be even more severe than alcohol addiction and at least as controlling as narcotic addiction. It is important to note that physical addiction and dependency applies not only to illegal drugs but to prescription medication as well. Doctors now define addiction as an uncontrolled, compulsive use, despite harm. Where prescription drugs are involved, doctors will typically define the abuse as ‘physical dependence’. While characteristic withdrawal symptoms can appear with alcohol, illegal drugs and nicotine, they are also evident in withdrawal from barbiturates, pain medication and many other legal medications. Diagnostic instruments now classify many of these conditions as dependencies rather than addictions. The distinction made by the medical community is as follows: Addiction is a primary and chronic neurobiological disease. It is attributable to genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors and characterized by impaired control over substance use, and compulsive and continued use and craving, in spite of harm. Physical Dependence is an adaptation manifested by substance class specific withdrawal that is produced by abrupt cessation, or rapid dose reduction, causing decreasing substance levels in the blood.
What are the symptoms?
For symptoms of addiction to specific substances, see the related title article. A summary of possible symptoms is provided here.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Doctors may ask about frequency of substance use, whether any family member has criticized the use of this substance, or whether the patient feels they may have a problem. A full medical examination is required to rule out other illness or disease. Definitive diagnosis of addiction usually occurs after evaluation by a psychiatrist, psychologist or a specialized addiction counselor. Blood tests are not always conclusive but these tests can help a doctor detect the presence of certain substances. For information on specific addiction diagnosis and treatment, see the related title article. Treatment for addiction varies with the specific substance. Treatment typically involves withdrawal from the substance, counseling and self-help groups.
Treatment(s) can include:
Treatment protocols vary, depending upon the addiction, but in general, medical, educational and social therapeutic modalities are required to address the addiction and the associated and secondary conditions that may exist. Treatments may include one or some of the following therapies:
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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