10 Addictions Many People Don’t Realize They Have

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Addictions often hide in plain sight. They’re not always about substances or behaviors that immediately scream “problem.” In fact, many addictions fly under the radar, disguised as simple bad habits. Here are 13 top addictions that many people don’t even know they have:

1. Validation

Social validation
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It’s strange how people look for validation in every form these days. Be it through social media likes or comments, video games, approval at work, etc. Our insecurity drives us to seek the echo of our own thoughts, and we shy away from criticism or questioning.

Approval has become a cozy cocoon where we feel treasured and unique. It’s an intoxicating elixir; we crave more, like candy on a relentless sugar rush. From CEOs with armies of “yes-men” to religious cults and social media keyboard warriors, we’re all validation junkies.

The wild part? Most don’t even realize how deep the addiction runs.

2. Caffeine

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For some reason, caffeine is a serious addiction many people don’t even know they have. Start your day with it, rely on it, and you’re chained to that morning brew before you know it.

You’d be surprised by how many people, young, old, male, female, black, white, CEOs, and Casual laborers, are addicted to caffeine. And when it comes to breaking free? It’s like trying to tame a spitting cobra-not easy.

So, no, the fact that you can’t function without that morning coffee fix is NOT okay. It’s an addiction, a caffeine addiction!

3. Sugar

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After the caffeine comes the sugar. I think that’s the worst because it’s so addictive. And anyone who thinks sugar isn’t addictive should try not eating any daily. You’ll be sitting at your desk thinking about how much you crave candy or a soda because your body is addicted to sugar.

In the next 20 years, we will talk about sugar the way we talk about cigarettes. Like, “It was obvious it was bad, but we kept doing it anyway.”

4. Watching Adult Sites

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A friend had a breakthrough at one point and realized that he had consumed adult content every day since a young age. It was surprisingly hard to stop.

His relapses looked like the symptoms after taking drugs. It was as if all the joy and energy was getting sucked out of him for at least two days.

Also, it’s not just a “men” problem. It can affect everyone across genders. It’s a silent battle that many are fighting.

The good thing is that there’s more and more research on how this addiction mirrors drug addiction in the brain, specifically cocaine addiction.

“It’s not addicting like nicotine.” “I just need to smoke before I eat, watch a movie, sleep, leave the house, before work, etc.” Marijuana doesn’t have a physical addiction. But its euphoric effects and munchies can quickly induce psychological dependence, which some choose to ignore.

5. Social Media

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Seriously, we all love social media. But we also wish it wasn’t addictive and wasted so much time.

It’s a never-ending cycle of deleting and re-downloading.

We’ve all been there – promising ourselves we’ll stop, only finding ourselves scrolling through our feeds once again.

The constant dopamine hits from likes, comments, and notifications keep us hooked. It’s a digital rollercoaster we can’t seem to get off.

6. Online Shopping

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I know this addiction has many of you DEEP.

Like, you genuinely need to order just one thing. But before you know it, you’ve made ten orders for clothing. Then, when the high of the addiction wears off, you start regretting the purchase. You hate it so much, but you can’t stop. You know you need to stop, but it’s so damn hard. Aargh!

7. Video Games

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Video games can be so pervasive. Some prioritize their WoW (World of Warcraft) account over keeping their job. “But I need it to relax.” Tossing your controller in a fit doesn’t look very relaxing.

At least admit that it’s an addiction. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to manage it. Diablo comes out, and you book time for a marathon with your mates? That’s just a good time. But if it turns into a 48-hour slog, that’s a red flag.

8. Work

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I’m sorry you had to scroll so far to find this.

But the truth is that work addiction is probably the most socially acceptable yet deeply insidious addiction. It has ruined so many lives. Workaholics destroy their relationships, families, and their sanity for the “grind.” Then, they insist that everyone around them adopt their insane habits.

9. Phone

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One can be 100% addicted to their phone and not even know it.

They can scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and completely lose track of time and all things important! Such people don’t realize how addicted they are to their phones until they realize how much they can’t handle boredom.

Being bored, exercising patience, and just waiting are skills these phone addicts no longer know how to do.

10. Self-harm

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Self-harm is hard to break away from once you start relying on it. Even simple stuff like punching the wall, pulling your hair, or biting off your nails is a tough habit to overcome.

Some don’t even realize they rely on many types of self-harm.

It’s important to understand that self-harm is often a way to cope with emotional pain or stress, even though it’s not a healthy or effective solution. Recognizing this and seeking professional help is vital to finding healthier ways to cope with complicated feelings and situations.

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