ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Seemingly Harmless Addictions That Can Ruin Your Life

Updated on July 1, 2019
drfreddabranyon profile image

Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.


Addiction. This nine-letter word impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. Scientists and psychologists consider addiction to be a form of brain disorder, in which the sufferer repeats compulsive engagements with a substance, thing, person, or activity — regardless of the negative consequences.

Let’s discuss seven rising addictions, excluding the obvious (drugs and alcohol).

1. Throwing Money Away, Hoping to Get More

According to, 80 percent of adults in the United States gamble on an annual basis. Rolling the dice and going all-in gives the brain a substantial hit of dopamine — a hormone and neurotransmitter that makes you happy. That happiness, however, will only last until your savings deplete and your family walks out of your life.

2. Getting the Perfect Tan

We live in a self-absorbed world where a great tan matters more than avoiding skin cancer. Addiction to ultraviolet (UV) rays, whether natural or artificial, can lead to painful sunburns and melanoma. Others might become so obsessed with their appearance and develop body dysmorphic disorder, which is one of today’s most destructive forms of mental disorders.

3. Going Under the Knife

Speaking of body dysmorphic disorder, some people crave more than a simple tan. Addiction to plastic surgery begins with insecurity, which cosmetic procedures promise to “correct.” Some women start with a few facial injections, then a nose job, followed by a breast augmentation.

All women are beautiful — PERIOD. Sadly, many of them focus too much on “ugly features” that only they see. The explanation behind this phenomenon is the same brain chemical that triggers addiction (dopamine).

4. Breaking a Sweat

Harvard Health Publishing notes that exercising shows promise in helping people recover from addiction. This is because activities such as running, boxing, and swimming distracts the mind. However, the excessive amount of endorphins released when exercising can be addicting. If you suffer from body image issues, take precautions to avoid getting hooked on exercise.

5. Indulging the Sweet Tooth

Oh sweet, decadent chocolate. This melt-in-your-mouth treat is one of the hardest addictions to quit for many people. Chocolate and other sustenances with high contents of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates may evoke similar behavioral reactions as drugs and alcohol. Feeding this addiction can also lead to a myriad of health problems, such as obesity, high blood sugar, and heart disease.

6. Texting, Taking Selfies, and Using FaceTime

Did you know 66 percent of the world population has signs of smartphone addiction? Yes, nomophobia is real, and you may be one of the millions of people with this problem. You can determine whether your smartphone addiction is serious when the simple act of limiting your exposure leaves you anxious, almost like you are having coffee withdrawals.

7. Liking, Posting, and Tweeting

Last but not least, there is no question that social media is one of the most common addictions in the 21st Century. In some ways, we’ve all been guilty of spending too much time on Facebook and Instagram. But a large percentage of social media users are dangerously addicted, evident in these statistics from MediaKix:

  • 45 percent of people go on social media instead of sleeping

  • Teenagers spend up to nine hours on social media every day

  • 90 percent of drivers check social media while behind the wheel

Ask Yourself, “Am I an Addict?”

To ensure that you are not compulsively obsessed with any of the seven addicting examples above, take time during the day to monitor your habits. If you have a strong urge to exercise, gamble, use your phone, or even eat chocolate to the point where stopping yourself makes you uneasy, shaky, and almost like you are losing your mind — you may have a severe addiction. Talk to those who have your best interests at heart, and seek professional help.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)