What is the most dangerous legal habit

Over time, people have developed a wide variety of names for certain behaviors that deviate from the norm. In German, such behavior is often referred to by oneself or by other people as “special”, “remarkable”, “noticeable” or “disturbed”. Be it tics, quirks or habits - all of these things roughly fall into the category of "disturbed behavior".

Addiction should also be mentioned here, whereby it occupies a special position solely because of its mostly health-endangering status. But what is the difference between habit and addiction in detail? Why are addictions so dangerous and why do people keep falling into one or more addictions? And how do you get rid of habits and especially addictions?

Tick, quirk or habit - what are the differences?

Before going deeper into the topic, it must first be clarified what tics, quirks and habits actually are and whether they differ from one another in certain points. The addiction, which clearly differs from these behaviors, will be discussed separately at a later point.

Let's start with the Ticks and the Quirksthat basically don't really differ from each other. The term “tick” has meanwhile become established in everyday language, but it comes from the medical field. The term “quirk”, on the other hand, is used purely colloquially. The Duden defines the quirk as a "strange, quirky peculiarity, habit". For the sake of simplicity, only ticks will be discussed below. It is important to note, however, that medical professionals understand a “tic / tick” to be a specific, recurring movement, sound or word utterance. This cannot be controlled by those affected. In addition, it is not earmarked. Tourette's syndrome is probably the best-known example of such medically diagnosed tics.

A tick in colloquial language, on the other hand, is more a habit that is incomprehensible to others and that could theoretically be abandoned. Unlike a medical tic, such a habit is avoidable. But many "affected" do not see their tick as such and therefore no reason to change anything in their behavior.

For example, a tick could be that someone always snaps their fingers while laughing. Or that someone whistles even though the other person is telling something. The meticulous sorting of clothes in the wardrobe by color is also seen as a tick. A passion for collecting that is regarded as bizarre can also be described as a tick. "She has such a thing with ballpoint pens and never throws them away, even if they are empty." Sentences of this kind are occasionally used in conversations with others.

Habits are behaviors that have developed through constant repetition in such a way that at some point they happen automatically and usually without questioning or reflecting. They differ from the colloquial ticks mainly in that they do not necessarily have a negative connotation. If you certify someone a little, you usually don't mean it positively.

Not all habits have to be bad

When thinking about habits or habits, negative things often come to mind first, or even exclusively. Be it the habit of throwing yourself in a cozy outfit and a bag of chips on the couch after work at home or the habit of constantly fiddling with your own face and scratching alleged skin blemishes or something similar. These kinds of things are certainly not the best habit.

Often their status as "bad" relates to health issues. It's a bad habit to snack on unhealthy things to make up for something. Touching your face all the time - especially with unwashed fingers - is a bad habit because it increases the risk of problematic skin. Bad can also simply mean “causing (more) difficulties”. Constantly about to leave for the booked train, speaking with your mouth full or basic and notorious laziness are bad habits.

But habits can just as easily be very positive. Anyone who has got used to doing a round of yoga in the morning after getting up or taking a few hours to themselves on the weekend and switching off all electronic devices is certainly doing themselves a favor. If you don't have to think about it any more, but these things basically happen "all by themselves", it is certainly to be rated as practical and good.
So how is it that we almost always associate habits with negative things? The explanation for this is on the one hand quite simple that the bad habits are simply more present for many people. What goes well is taken for granted, what goes bad is acutely disruptive. On the other hand, habits can turn into addiction at a certain point - and many people are absolutely aware of this. Trying to get rid of a bad habit and finding yourself having massive difficulties may be dealing with an addiction.

Addiction: The Most Dangerous Form of Disordered Behavior

An "addiction" is the most dangerous form of disordered behavior. Interestingly, the term is defined differently in different works and by different sciences or institutions. What they all agree on is the following: An addiction in the colloquial sense always denotes a dependence on a substance or certain behaviors.
In the official language of the World Health Organization (WHO), the term has been replaced by “abuse” or “addiction”.

The WHO defines addiction

“As a mental, possibly also physical condition, which is characterized by the fact that a person feels an insurmountable desire for a certain substance or a certain behavior despite physical, mental or social disadvantages, which he can no longer control and which he is dominated by . As you get used to the addictive substance, there is a tendency to increase the dose.

Dependence is based on the urge to experience the psychological effects of the addictive substance, and increasingly also the need to avoid the unpleasant effects of its absence (withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, sleep disorders, headaches, anxiety, sweating). Dependence is now seen as a disease. "

Psychology and pedagogy also point out that an addiction can prevent or at least severely impair the free development of a personality. Furthermore, it often leads to the fact that social bonds are destroyed and the basic social opportunities of an individual are reduced.

Finally, the Federal Ministry of Health emphasizes that addiction is not a marginal problem for society, but affects many people in Germany. Be with addiction

"Not only meant the addiction disorders, but the entirety of risky, abusive and dependent behaviors in relation to addictive substances (legal and illegal) as well as non-substance-related behaviors (such as gambling and pathological Internet use)."

The latter may sound unusual, but according to the BMG, 560,000 people are online dependent - their Internet use is excessive and can be described as problematic.

Characteristics of addictive behavior

Anyone who observes behavior of any kind in themselves that seems similarly problematic, compulsive, unhealthy or negative in any way should ask themselves which characteristics apply to them. The advice of others to such behavior can also be used as an opportunity to go into oneself in an honest way and to reflect. The following characteristics could indicate an addiction or dependence:

  • There is a great desire or craving to do or consume something over and over.
  • The effect is getting less and less.
  • The experience must become more and more intense or be repeated at shorter intervals.
  • Unpleasant "withdrawal symptoms" occur when dealing with the supposed addictive substance is interrupted.
  • It is no longer possible to resist the desire on your own.
  • Other things like hobbies, social contacts with family and friends and the like take a back seat.

Get rid of bad habits

Some bad habits can become addicts, but they don't have to be. It is always advisable to pull the emergency brake early enough when realizing such habits to minimize the risk of addiction. So before we get into how to combat existing addictions, let's briefly mention how to get rid of bad habits.

First of all, it's important to take a moment of calm and realize that you actually have a bad habit and definitely want to get rid of it before it turns into something really unhealthy. This decision has to be made from deep inside and not according to the motto “Well, I'll try it once”. Because only if the decision is made with real conviction can one act in a disciplined manner against the bad habit.
On the way to weaning, it can help to write small reminders on sticky notes. A short note on the mirror in the morning indicates, for example, that today you should only drink two cups of coffee instead of a whole pot. A note on the dashboard in the car can warn you to slow down in traffic or not to swear as much. These little admonitions are important in the beginning so as not to lose sight of the goal. As soon as you no longer need it, you will see progress and the habit may soon be a thing of the past.

Fighting Addictions - How It Can Work

Get informed

If an addiction has already occurred or has existed for a long time, a first step in the fight against this can be to carefully inform yourself about your own existing addiction or dependency. What exactly is that supposed to mean and bring about?

For example, many addicts are completely unaware of the physical harm they can put up with as a result of their addiction. Others, on the other hand, know that they are endangering their health, but the extent of the danger is not clear to them either. They hide them or consciously ignore them and stay away from too much information on the topic. Behind this is the unconscious knowledge that a realization could sometimes lead to having to actively tackle and fight the addiction. Because this is not necessarily easy, everything that reminds or admonishes one of the disturbed behavior is blocked from the start.

A first step in combating addiction can therefore be a tough confrontation with the facts. As already mentioned, those who are well and precisely informed increase the urge to tackle their addiction in a more disciplined and convinced manner. For example, one only has to think about the damage that cigarette or nicotine addiction can cause. In addition to the addictive substance nicotine, there are a number of harmful substances in tobacco. You lead to

  • unsightly teeth and nails due to the nicotine film.
  • a narrowing of the veins, which in turn favors the development of the so-called smoker's leg.
  • poorer skin due to the narrowing of blood vessels.
  • a weakening of the muscles.
  • damage to the bones.
  • a reduction in life expectancy.
  • favoring the development of various types of cancer, particularly lung and larynx cancer.

There are individual quitting strategies for every addiction - be it for, or rather against, the mentioned smoking, alcohol, heroin, gambling or even shopping and sex addiction. However, a few more measures, in addition to comprehensive education on the subject, can be helpful in combating any addiction.

Fighting or avoiding triggers
Addictive behavior usually takes place in response to certain occurrences or experiences. One speaks here of “triggering” and means specific things that lead to, for example, taking up a cigarette, pouring a glass of alcohol, or going excessively in online shops and spending more money than one can afford.

On the way out of addiction, it is important for every addict to recognize these personal triggers. Then one must try to avoid them as much as possible.

To make it clearer what triggers can be, we have put together three examples of the most varied of types.

1. Many smokers only use cigarettes in connection with social contacts and especially when meeting friends in a bar or club. Such a pattern can often be observed, especially at the beginning of an addiction, when people do not smoke several times a day. The social aspects of tobacco addiction should not be underestimated.

Now it does not apply that you are no longer allowed to meet friends for a glass of wine. However, the combination of alcohol and company can also encourage smoking. It is important to avoid alcohol for at least a while. Or maybe to meet up with others to do sports, play or anything else until the urge to smoke has disappeared.

2. Negative experiences can also be triggers. These don't necessarily have to be major setbacks. Even an unpleasant conversation with a supervisor, for example, can trigger the subsequent reaching for a cigarette. Or lead to a visit to the amusement arcade after work.

Here it is important, on the one hand, to try to recognize the situations that trigger such reactions and, if possible, to avoid them completely. If that is not possible, a healthier way of dealing with the negative emotions needs to be found. It often helps to talk to friends about it right away or simply to write down in a small notebook what annoys, annoys and depresses you.

3. For many addicts, boredom is one of the main triggers. When there is nothing to be done and boredom tires and depresses, a stimulant is used, for example. This may be followed by a burst of activity or a short-term creativity and consumption is saved as necessary.

So it is important to avoid boredom and to distract yourself. It is best to do sports or to look for hobbies that are also fun and occupying for longer periods of time.

The focus on negative emotions related to addiction

An addiction usually has its peak phases: shortly after consuming a substance or after performing an action, those affected feel good. But the positive feelings quickly disappear and are replaced by negative ones.

This can be the immediate urge to repeat the experience, but it can also be self-reproach, strong depressive moments or physical pain.
Combatting addiction is about contrasting the negative with the positive. Just shortly before the urge to become addicted is satisfied, for example, one can go through in one's head what negative consequences the action that one is about to carry out will have. That should gradually weaken the urge to really do it.

Partial victory rewards

No addiction can be defeated overnight. After all, the compulsive behaviors and their consequences are deeply rooted in one. That is exactly why we speak of diseases when it comes to addictions.

The way out of addiction usually takes place in stages and step by step. Chain smokers may initially skip just one cigarette a day until it eventually turns ten and soon a half a pack. In order to increase the motivation to go through the fight against addiction, addicts should reward themselves for their partial victories.

Such a reward can be a trip to the cinema with friends, a delicious dinner in the Italian restaurant around the corner or something nice to wear that has been touted with for a long time. It is important that this reward cannot possibly also produce addictive behavior again - but more on this at the end of the article.

Perform a restart or change of scenery

If the triggers that lead to the satisfaction of the addiction craving are too numerous and if it is not possible to find the way out of the addiction even with a lot of discipline and reward strategies, often only a "restart" can help.

This can mean, for example, changing jobs or even looking for a new type of employment. If the stress at work can only be counterbalanced by unhealthy behavior, you may have to look for something completely different to protect your own life.

Sometimes, however, the social and societal conditions in which one moves also cause unhealthy behavior.The wrong acquaintances can massively promote an addiction. It is a big step to move away from a certain circle of friends, for example, and often only a move will help, which is associated with a lot of mental strength and work. However, if there is no other way, such tough measures are sometimes unavoidable.

Get professional help

Not all people are able to fight their addiction alone or with the help of family and friends. This is exactly what professional help is for.

The Fachverband Sucht e.V. recommends contacting counseling services near your place of residence. These can be specialist clinics (for inpatient rehabilitation), adaptation facilities, sociotherapeutic facilities, day clinics or outpatient treatment and advice centers.

Outpatient advice and treatment centers in the vicinity can be found on the website of the Federal Center for Health Education. The contact details of the offices can also be requested by telephone on the nationwide information hotline for addiction prevention of the BZgA on 0221/89 20 31.

Avoid shifting addiction

As already indicated, attempts to combat addiction often lead to unhealthy “compensatory behavior” as well. One then speaks of a shift in addiction: addicts may manage to refrain from their original addictive behavior, but instead switch to other addictive behavior. It is essential to observe such compensatory behavior when fighting an addiction and to avoid it in a targeted manner.

Often there is a shift in addiction from smoking or drinking to an unhealthy diet. Instead of a cigarette or a glass of wine, half a bar of chocolate or a bag of chips is eaten. It should be clear that this is not healthy in the long run. Sugar, for example, is also a kind of addictive substance and should not be underestimated.

However, the shift in addiction can also take place more inconspicuously. It is important to look for the distraction mentioned above in other things in order to avoid addictive impulses. But it is just as important to experience this distraction in a controlled and conscious manner. Anyone who quits smoking but becomes a workaholic or has to run a half marathon every day in order to be able to relax should continue to ask themselves whether this behavior is really so healthy in the long run.