Psychological dependence is the feeling of not being able to cope without substances. Psychological dependence causes your thinking, feelings and actions to be tuned towards drug use. For example you might be pre-occupied with thoughts about drug use and may experience cravings when you’re not using. You might obsess about getting and using drugs rather than focusing on other things in life.
As well as psychological dependence you may experience a range of emotional withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, irritability, mood swings, loss of concentration or cravings when not engaging in the behaviour. Emotional withdrawal also includes feelings of regret, guilt and shame about the addictive behaviour.
You may feel that nothing else but substance use gives you any gratification in life. This is explained by changes that happen in the brain’s reward pathways after engaging in long-term substance use. Luckily, this effect on the brain can be reversed with active effort towards recovery.
Even short term drug use can cause health problems, both physical and psychological. People may feel that drugs help with certain mental health conditions but usually in the longer term they make your pre-existing mental health problems worse.
If you are concerned about drug use you can use our self screening tool below. We do not store any data or information from these forms and it's completely anonymous.self screening tool