Other addictions and dependencies: Relationship, sex, internet, gambling etc.

This group of dependencies,  called "non-substance-related" dependencies, affect every human being in one way or another. All people want reliable relationships. Almost all people wish and like intimate encounters. Almost all people also like to play (social) games. The question is, when does wishing and liking become an addiction. Here, the exact boundary is difficult to define, since the determination of this boundary  ultimately lies in each individual.

Relationship dependency

A person who is very afraid of being alone in life will always try to move quickly from one relationship to the next. At which point this behaviour becomes a problem cannot easily be defined. For example, if a man has three girlfriends in addition to his regular partner, then he might not see this as a problem, but as proof of his masculinity. This man's partner will probably have a different point of view. Since it is rarely possible to keep such entanglements secret, the partner will have to deal with her partner's infidelity or fear of commitment. If she wants exclusive relationships for herself, then she must question the relationship. If this woman is unable to make decisions within a reasonable period of time, an overwhelming fear of loneliness and insecurity in the search for a new partner can definitely be seen as a problem. In any case of relationship dependency, fear of abandonment and being alone is the actual topic and the focus of therapeutic treatment.

Sex addiction

Sex addiction is a topic often discussed in the media. However, if one is seriously concerned with the problems of those affected, one is confronted with a high degree of personal suffering. The causes of such disorders are very diverse, but of a serious nature. They require a professional and comprehensive therapy. Self-help groups, also on the Internet, are suitable first contact points to face the problem.

Gambling addiction

In gambling addiction, suppressed conflicts and fears with a long history are the cause of the problems. As with all dependencies, a long and comprehensive treatment by an experienced practitioner is necessary. Gambling addiction comes in many forms. There is an addiction to playing at slot machines or casinos. But computer games (first person shooter), online poker or even solitaires can become addictive. In most cities there are specialised counselling centres.

Severity of symptoms

Therapy is strongly recommended when the person concerned develops strong fear of not being able to control his/her behaviour any longer. Additionally, the sufferer should seek therapy is he/she feels that dependent to a destructive relationship or when the additiction takes over life. The criterion here is the extent of subjective fear and dependence.

Appropriate forms of therapy

Behavioural therapy, deep psychological therapy, analytical therapy (covered by health insurance); as well as all forms of humanistic psychotherapy such as Gestalt therapy and talk therapy, but also psychodrama or hypnotherapy as offered by specialised in-patient or out-patient clincs. Addiction counselling centres in cities and communities should be the first place to contact.

As oppossed to other forms of addiction, psychotherapists are often able to treat these forms of dependency.

Duration of treatment

The treatment of these kinds of dependencies usually takes one to two years or longer.

Cost coverage

Health insurance companies, both private and statutory/public, usually cover the costs of treatment.