Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Psychological dependence

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Psychological dependence is a form of dependence that involves emotional–motivational withdrawal symptoms (e.g., a state of unease or dissatisfaction, a reduced capacity to experience pleasure, or anxiety) upon cessation of drug use or engagement in certain behaviors. Physical and psychological dependence are sometimes classified as a facet or component of addiction, such as in the DSM-IV-TR; however, some drugs which produce dependence syndromes do not produce addiction, and vice versa, in humans. Addiction and psychological dependence are both mediated through reinforcement, a form of operant conditioning, but are associated with different forms of reinforcement. Addiction is a compulsion for rewarding stimuli that is mediated through positive reinforcement. Psychological dependence, which is mediated through negative reinforcement, involves a desire to use a drug or perform a behavior to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal syndrome that results from cessation of exposure to it.

Psychological dependence develops through consistent and frequent exposure to a stimulus. Behaviors which can produce observable psychological withdrawal symptoms (i.e., cause psychological dependence) include physical exercise, shopping, sex and self-stimulation using pornography, and eating food with high sugar or fat content, among others. Behavioral therapy is typically employed to help individuals overcome psychological dependence upon drugs or maladaptive behaviors that produce psychological dependence.


Psychological dependence Wikipedia