Difference Between Physical and Psychological Dependence

Symptoms of physical dependency are not limited to the sufferer and may include those in the substance user’s life. The stress and discomfort of withdrawal can consist of fear and anxiety that may manifest in lashing out. Loved ones of those dealing with substance use disorder need to understand that clouded judgment and feelings of desperation and frustration may be taken out on them. Watch for the signs and talk to addiction specialists to start formulating recovery plans. It is also true that when you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, you’ll generally experience physical withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling ill, nauseous and shaky.

psychological dependence vs physiological dependence

People with a borderline personality disorder might have a tendency to self-harm. DBT might be better over CBT because it recognizes that these thoughts and feelings may never go away completely. Yet, it gives people the tools to change their behavior in spite of how they think and feel. A patient’s appearance can indicate this; they might look disheveled and smell. However, not every person with a psychological disorder looks like they have one. So, self-reports help medical professionals at addiction treatment facilities diagnose a psychological dependence. Despite this, chemical dependence must be treated as a whole for it to work. Changes in the brain can affect your mood, memory, thinking, and behavior, as well as the way your organs function.

Symptoms of Psychological Addiction

When it comes to addiction, a person may become both psychologically and physically dependent on a drug. Consequently, people suffering from psychological dependence will spend excess time obtaining drugs, using the drugs, and recovering from the side effects of the drugs. These individuals might neglect their responsibilities at work, home, or school in order to keep up their substance abuse. The psychological aspects of addiction are sometimes so tortuous that they are the hardest symptoms to overcome. Before physical dependence forms, the afflicted individual begins building a tolerance on their substance of choice. Tolerance refers to the phenomenon that occurs when people abuse mood or mind-altering substances so often that their body adjusts to having the substance in the body.

Physical substance dependence refers to the human body’s reliance on a substance to the point that the body cannot function properly without the substance. This type of dependence is often caused when a user builds a physical tolerance to a substance and starts taking more of the substance in order to attain the desired effects. A physically dependent user will experience physical withdrawal effects, or negative bodily reactions, like headaches, when the user stops using the substance. That’s why physical dependence requires a medical detoxification process to slowly wean the body off the substance. Although different, both physical and psychological addictions can wreak havoc on a person’s life.

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People can see when a person with an alcohol use disorder is suffering from tremors without them saying anything. While others can’t observe it per se, a person suffering from it can feel the sensation. Physical dependence is generally thought of as the body’s response to withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. This can be a short-term withdrawal, such as the time between hits or drinks, or the symptoms can manifest in a more intense way as part of a formal detox process.

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  • These physical symptoms help define the line between physical vs psychological dependence.
  • Learn more about the differences between physical and psychological substance dependencies as well as the impact of developing a tolerance to a drug.

However, after this first step, you will need to continue treatment to help you address your psychological dependence on alcohol or drugs. This timeline for recovery can vary quite significantly between individuals. Our center employs caring, professional medical staff psychological dependence vs physiological dependence with expertise in addiction who deliver these services in both inpatient and outpatient program formats. Many substances, such as caffeine, nicotine, anti-depressants, can cause physical dependence. The condition is not, by any means, a result unique to illegal drugs.

North Jersey Recovery Center Helps Patients With Physical Dependence and Psychological Dependence

Although you may feel that you can stop whenever you want to, the reality is probably very different, as you are dealing with an illness, not just a habit. When it comes to treating your addiction, the physical aspects are often treated separately from the psychological ones, even though they go hand in hand. Another notable difference is that most stimulant users will go through psychological withdrawal, rather than a physical one when they cease to use drugs. What this means, is that they will usually experience cravings and strong desires to use again. In order to recover from psychological dependence, the user must normally undergo rehabilitation. Rehabilitation uses various types of therapy to teach users skills and coping techniques.

Angry outbursts are another symptom of a physical addictive dependency versus psychological addictive dependency. Angry outbursts can be caused by frustration when the person is feeling helpless and they feel the substance they are on is too strong to overcome. The user would need to get professional help to deal with sobriety and help with the angry outbursts. Depression or a doubtful attitude can be problematic when trying to go to recovery to get help.

The higher the dose you use, as well as the length of time you’ve been using, the more negative effects you’ll see and the worse your withdrawal symptoms, will become. Before splitting addiction out into physical and psychological addiction, it is helpful to understand what addiction is as an umbrella term. When people talk about addiction, it means the continued use of a substance that alters a person’s mood in spite of negative consequences/behaviors. She is not displaying physical symptoms, but she feels she needs the drugs. Annie would be taught behavioral methods for having fun with friends without the use of drugs, and how to avoid drug use if she chooses to attend concerts or go dancing at clubs in the future. Research shows that substance abuse needs to be treated on both the physical and psychological levels as people can experience different kinds of dependence. Learn more about the differences between physical and psychological substance dependencies as well as the impact of developing a tolerance to a drug. Physical dependence happens when your body starts to rely on a substance to function. When you stop using the substance, you experience physical symptoms of withdrawal.

While it may be tough to recover from addiction, it is completely possible with the right help and attitude. Not being able to stop drug usage is a common symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. This is a behavior that is symptomatic of psychological dependency. This may involve a process group, anger management sessions, or 12-Step meetings. Others help you become accountable and learn tools that help you handle the symptoms of dependence like cravings, thoughts about using again, or feeling the need for your drug of choice. You may choose to take part for months or even years after leaving treatment. Intense cravings are universal to all addiction and are based on altered brain chemistry.

Consuming the drug or alcohol at an excessive level is a social symptom of an addict. If you or a loved one are having seizures, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seizures are sudden and uncontrolled Sober House actions disturbing the brain wave pattern. Constipation and diarrhea are two effects that physically manifest themselves. Having diarrhea can cause dehydration which can lead to other health problems.

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The difference between physical and psychological addiction is not as defined as you might think. This physical dependence occurs when your body physiologically adapts to an external substance. When this substance is taken away, you’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Physical dependence is the result of actual changes within the brain, and it is entirely possible to be physically dependent on a substance without being addicted. The signs and symptoms of a physical and psychological dependency are difficult to separate at times. Depression and anxiety can cause an individual to have heart palpitations, feel pain, and make them faint. Physical symptoms can make a person lose sleep, feel depressed, and feel anxious. One might lead to another, which is why it’s important to treat both as they appear. To put it another way, physical vs psychological dependence means mental vs physical symptoms.