Could You Be Hooked? Addictions That May Seem Normal.

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Smartphones

You keep it with you all the time and check it every few minutes. You work too much because you can’t turn it off on the weekend. You ignore the people you’re having dinner with to catch a text or a post from someone miles away. Get help from a doctor, counselor, or other professionals if your phone is getting in the way of your life.

Sweets

Sometimes you have to have it. And you may not be able to stop. Don’t feel bad — foods high in carbs, fats, and sugar can affect your brain just like drugs do. Jonesing for an occasional milkshake doesn’t mean you’re hooked. But your sweet tooth can get out of control and lead to other health problems.

Shopping

We’ve all bought something we don’t really need. If it happens a lot, what you’re really looking for might be some dopamine, the feel-good-chemical for your brain. It could also mean you have impulse-control problems or anxiety issues. Hit the stores — or the one-click online purchase button — too often and it can cause financial, legal, and social problems.

Gambling

Whether you do it in person or online, that rush provides your brain a hit of dopamine and makes you happy — for a while. But if lady luck isn’t with you, too much betting can wreak havoc with your finances, job, and family life.

Exercise

A good workout can help you get over addictions, as long as you don’t become hooked on the activity itself. Exercise helps your brain learn, which can speed recovery. But you have to be able to say “no” to that endorphin-fueled runner’s high if you’re ill or injured. Plus, a new habit you start while working out may be harder to shake.

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