As someone with a substance abuse disorder, overcoming it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. People can be heartless and judgmental, and ignorant. They say things like: “If you don’t want to be a drug addict, just quit. It’s that easy. I have no sympathy for them.” Or “I just don’t understand addiction.”
Look in the Mirror
Welp, yes, you do. It’s just that, somehow, you’re convinced your addictions aren’t as bad. After an online forum discussed societal addictions, people choose to ignore rather than acknowledge their own problems. Here are their honest confessions.
1. News Addiction
The number of people who are addicted to the news is alarming. It’s never positive. Therefore, you are consuming negative energy every time you turn it on. What do you suppose that does to you? What you put in you — will come out of you.
24-hour news cycles are responsible for brainwashing the masses to fight with each other over stupid things instead of addressing the bigger issue — the government. And ya’ll are falling for it.
2. Politics Addiction
Neither party is 100% right, but some of you make political allegiance your entire identity. It’s frightening and sad. People have become extremists on both sides of the same coin. I will never understand how many people blindly pledge their allegiance to their political party and then call it independent thinking.
Too many Americans are living in the echo chambers of the biased news, talk radio, and internet algorithms that keep feeding them more and more nonsense. Turn off your TV.
3. Adult Entertainment
Watching adult entertainment has become the mainstream norm, and it’s a spiritually damaging practice that shouldn’t be dismissed as normal. Have you ever watched any? It’s not normal. They may be trying to normalize things, but those things are perverse and not reality.
4. Celebrity Addiction
Whether Keeping Up With the Kardashians, or TMZ, far too many people are addicted to celebrity gossip. My father always made a point of saying, “If you’re watching other people’s lives, you’re not living your own.” Nevertheless, people are so consumed by them that Paparazzi exists to feed your curiosity.
5. Sports Addiction
I’ve known several people addicted to sports. It becomes their entire personality. If you can name all the players, their current and past, all the stats, and obsess over fantasy leagues, yeah, I’m talking about you. I enjoy a good football game, but painting your face, dying your hair, having a jersey for every player, watching every game, betting on them, etc., is absolutely an addiction.
6. Gambling Addiction
Speaking of placing bets. Gambling has become a mainstream addiction that people indulge in. You don’t have to go bankrupt or sit on a slot machine all day to participate in it. You can lose money playing games on your phone, buying scratch tickets, pull tabs at the bar, or on Poker night.
I’ve known people who justify their addiction because they “Win a lot.” No, you don’t. I worked in a casino. They always win. You may have hit a jackpot today, but you’ll put it all back in the course of a year with your weekly visits and belief you’ll “Hit again.”
7. Sugar Addiction
Sugar is in everything from ketchup to obvious desserts, and it’s a massive societal addiction that people choose to ignore. Several people in this thread admitted to quitting substances, including opioids, alcohol, and methamphetamines, but are struggling to overcome their sugar addictions.
8. Cell Phone Addiction
Anyone with a smartphone understands addiction. It’s just something society has chosen to ignore and dismiss because admitting it acknowledges they have a problem. It’s the same as with drugs and alcohol, but the stigma is not there.
Even the generations who would “never allow their children” to have smartphones have become entirely consumed by their own. It’s the equivalent of carrying a computer in your pocket with access to everything from GPS directions to Candy Crush marathons.
Recently, I read a funny bit about something that would die out with the boomers. I laughed out loud at a commenter who said, “The uncomfortable awkwardness of sitting in a doctor’s office and trying not to make eye contact with others.”
No lie. I recently had a mammogram, and there are varying ages of women in the waiting area after you get into your gowns. The sweetest older senior woman next to me was glued and appeared to operate her phone with more confidence than I. But, again, if we decided to acknowledge it for what it is, we’d all have to admit we have a problem. It is the first step to recovery.
9. Solitude Addiction
Are you guilty of feeling lonely and wanting friends but also not wanting to put effort into maintaining relationships? You’re not alone. Except for cats and dogs, many thread contributors agreed they prefer solitude most of the time.
“Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realize how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.” – Jim Carrey.
10. Attention Addiction
Attention can manifest in many ways, including social media, causing issues in school, causing chaos in the workplace, and out on the club scene. For example, a former TikTok user confessed they became obsessed with the view counts on their videos and admitted to checking their TikTok 100+ times a day.
11. Energy Drink Addiction
Energy drinks have large amounts of caffeine, which may cause severe heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure. One noted that anytime they hear someone say, “Man, I need another Red Bull,” they reply with, “No. You need some freaking water.”
12. Validation Addiction
Validation plays into attention and social media addiction but can be a valid concern on its own. While people joked about wanting upvotes on their comments for validation, one pointed out, “Even billionaires can’t get enough validation despite all their hired yes-men. Look how many people Elon Musk and Donald Trump fire for not validating them.”
13. Self-Deprecation Addiction
Oof. As a former self-deprecating person, self-deprecation is so accurate it hurts. One explains that it begins with jokes to break the ice in social situations. However, it evolves into a form of sarcasm ingrained into your everyday speech. Then it becomes an accurate depiction of how you see yourself, and it spirals into depression.
14. Revenge Bedtime Procrastination Addiction
Are you a night owl who fights the urge to go to bed despite dragging the following day? Someone explained it’s called “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination,” when a person feels emotionally exhausted.
They haven’t had enough time to care for themself. So they often stay up late to get this time but unintentionally exacerbate the problem due to lack of sleep.
15. Food Addiction
Food addiction is accurate, and society accepts it as usual. One suggests, “It’s also the hardest to break as you can’t go cold turkey or abstain. It’s the one addiction which almost everyone around you enables unabashedly, especially family.”
16. Nasal Spray Addiction
Nasal spray is an addiction that many users in this thread confessed to having. A physician said saline and steroid sprays such as Flonase and Nasacort aren’t addictive. However, “Afrin can really mess your nose up.” The active ingredient Oxymetazoline is “Definitely one I avoid at all costs.”
17. Work Addiction
The number of users in the forum who relate to the addiction or know others who overwork themselves is overwhelming. Some people discuss loving their jobs (relatable) and losing track of time. Others mention instant gratification. For example, a contractor says seeing the finished product keeps him going longer hours.
18. Compulsive Shopping Addiction
Compulsively buying is a common theme in the forum. A woman suggests the worst case scenario is the person becomes a hoarder due to all the stuff they accumulate or drown themselves in debt by opening up too many credit cards and maxing them out to buy more things “to get the dopamine hit.”
19. Video Gaming Addiction
While many people can play video games here and there and move on with their days, others cannot. According to this thread, society doesn’t take gaming addiction as seriously as it should.
20. Anger Addiction
“Anger. It releases serotonin. It’s cathartic. Easy to become a dominant response in many social situations.” You can jump into any comment section online and see this reality daily. People love to be angry and voice just how mad they are. It’s addicting, and not enough people talk about its destruction.
21. Exercising Addiction
Countless people admit that if you spend six hours in the gym daily, you are addicted. People overlook addiction because it’s fitness. However, it’s like any other addiction.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.