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An addiction is a continued involvement with or attachment to a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Initially, the substance or activity brings pleasure, enjoyment or relief from actual or perceived ailments; however, over a period of time, regular involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal. Addictions often preoccupy a large proportion of the individual’s life such that other important areas are neglected.

Today addictions are viewed in a broader sense that was previously limited to substances. Some common addictions are to:

  • alcohol, tobacco, heroin, caffeine and other drugs
  • gambling
  • video games, computers, internet, watching tv
  • food, dieting
  • sex, pornography, idolizing
  • work
  • exercise, adrenaline
  • self-injury
  • shopping

In order to be classified as an addiction there are usually these characteristics:

  • Long periods of high-level use of the substance or engaging in the activity
  • Preoccupation with the substance or activity
  • Loss of control when using the substance or engaging in the activity
  • Increase in use of the substance or engaging in the activity in the face of negative consequences
  • Greater amounts of the substance or activity are required over time to achieve the initial effect (Tolerance)
  • Inability to stop even in the face of a strong desire to abstain
  • Withdrawal from regular use of the substance or engaging in the activity results in adverse physical symptoms
  • Relapse is a common occurrence as a part of addiction recovery

In therapy, we often look at what needs are being met by the addiction and exploring those needs fully. We also seek to find alternative ways to meet those needs. Often the substance or activity is ineffectively dealing with the exact needs that are present. Therapy can help you meet these needs in healthier ways and gain control back of your life.

Dundee Counselling is not equipped to serve as a detox unit but instead is a part of a process requiring the help


Anger and Conflict
Conflict in relationships escalate through three stages: complaint is expressing dissatisfaction, criticism involves identifying recurring behavioral patterns, but contempt, the most toxic stage, attacks a person’s character, leading to a destructive ‘you versus me’ dynamic
If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety such as apprehension, tension, or excessive worry, it’s important to talk to your GP and consider counselling, as it can provide valuable support and strategies to address underlying contributing factors and manage anxiety effectively.
In the heart-wrenching journey of grieving a loved one, counselling can be a vital support, helping individuals navigate the intense emotions associated with the Five Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
If you are experiencing symptoms like persistent low mood, loss of interest in activities, and other emotional or physical changes, your GP can provide initial support and medication. Speaking with a counsellor can help identify the underlying factors and help you through.
Gender and Sexual Identity
If you have questions about your gender or sexuality, deeply intertwined with your self-identity, counselling can offer a supportive environment to enhance your self-awareness, navigate societal challenges, and gain a clearer understanding of your true self.
Panic Attacks
If you’re experiencing intense fear, palpitations, or other symptoms of panic attacks, seek help to process the contributing factors to the panic and explore core beliefs that may be adversly affecting your mental health.