When the subject of addiction comes up in conversation, there are many things that immediately come to mind. Many people have different ideas and opinions on addiction… some of them accurate, some of them completely inaccurate.

Addiction is a complex, many times misjudged concept. Those who suffer from addictions often feel misunderstood and misrepresented.

So, let’s take a minute and work to clear up some of the confusion just a bit. Here are 4 delusions many people have about addiction:

1. Addictions are all in your mind.

Many people think that addictions are “all in the mind.” They think that people who have addictions developed them because of certain weaknesses, maybe an inability to deal with the normal stresses of life. But the truth is, there are many different causes behind someone developing an addiction.

Some life experiences or stresses can help cause and/or intensify an addiction, but they are rarely the only cause of an addiction. Most addictions, specifically substance addictions, are caused by actual physical reactions that happen inside of an addicted person’s body and mind. Their body literally craves their addicted substance. They have physical reactions if they are not able to take their addicted substance.

2. If you take the addicted person away from the substance, they will no longer be tempted.

Many people think that an addicted person needs to just stay away from their addictive substance, and then they will be just fine. It is true that being able to stay away from the addictive substance is a very important part of overcoming an addiction. But it is not enough on its own.

If there are psychological reasons that are part of the cause of the addiction, those must be addressed too. And an addict is never going to get over their temptation to their addictive substance. It will always be a temptation to them… their temptation level never goes down, it is their ability to fight the temptation that increases over time.

3. People can only be addicted to substances.

Some people view addictions as only being centered around substances. It’s true that addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol are very prominent, but there are many different types of addictions. People can develop addictions to shopping, the Internet, video games, overeating, dieting, pornography, etc. Addictions come in many different forms, there are many different causes, and many different roads to recovery.

4. Addicts can do it on their own.

Some people have the harsh feelings that an addict got into this problem on their own, so they should get out of it on their own. This is so far from the truth! People struggling with addictions need all the help they can get. They need love and support from their friends and family members. They need people cheering them on and encouraging them when they hit low points. Many addicts may need to seek professional help to aid them in overcoming these addictions. All of these things can prove vital to the success on their road to recovery.