Addictions: Alcohol, Shopping, Gambling, TV, etc.

Addictions: Alcohol, Shopping, Gambling, TV, etc.


Addiction means not having control over what you are using, taking or doing to the point when it becomes harmful for you. Having an addiction can be very tough to live with. It can affect you, your relationships, work, social life and your finances. Addiction can become overpowering and all-consuming, affecting all the areas of your life.

What first comes to mind when we talk about addictions is drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. However, people can be addicted to work, food, the internet, sex, porn, gambling and even prescribed drugs. According to Action on Addiction < >, 1 in 3 people are addicted to something. 

How addiction starts

When alcohol, drugs or nicotine enter our bodies, they can make us feel physically good, resulting in an urge to do it again. A similar ‘high’ can occur as a result of activities like having sex, shopping and gambling, but this time is it a mental high, and it compels us to recreate the feeling. Over time, a user has to increase the dose or frequency of a substance or activity because of the way the brain feels pleasure changes. 

To start with, people feel curiosity or desire to try something new. This experimentation then becomes regular use. At this stage, the quality of life may begin to be affected but not as much as when it turns into increased use. At this stage, warning signs will start to appear. And finally, people become dependent on the substance or activity. They no longer can function normally or happily without it. The higher the tolerance, the more severe withdrawal symptoms and, therefore, the harder it is to stop the unwanted habit. 


Drinking, taking drugs, working too much and shopping too much are just distractors from having unaddressed and unsatisfied need, want or desire within you. These unhealthy behaviours will not meet your emotional need and will only bring temporary relief. Your inner tension will stay the same, but you will pick up an addiction along the way. 


Hypnotherapy for addiction aims to identify the underlying causes of addiction and remove them, breaking the vicious cycle. Your hypnotherapist will help you to see how the feelings and emotions (such as anger, boredom, guilt, sadness or being stressed) make you behave the way you wish you were not doing. You will be able to take back control when you understand the drive behind it all. The power of hypnosis will also help you break the habit and start a new chapter of your life without the old harmful ways. It will empower you to see your addictive behaviour as something you can control and overcome.

Alcohol addiction

Drinking alcohol is common in our society, and it is a part of life for many people. Since childhood, we witness that alcohol is a big part of every celebration and a good meal. We start associating alcohol with good times a long time before we are allowed to drink it. In later years, alcohol helps us relax, feel more comfortable and confident, connect with other people, and have fun.

The problem begins when drinking alcohol starts affecting your life, and you don’t seem to be able to stop having a drink. The severity of the disease varies from person to person. Some people drink every day, while others binge drink and then stay sober for a while. Regardless of how it looks, someone typically has an alcohol addiction if they heavily rely on drinking. 

Hypnotherapy will help you break the habit and see alcohol as something that you used to do. Your commitment to stopping drinking will become unshakeable, and you will stay determined all the way. You will find ways of avoiding drinking, and you will be becoming stronger and stronger every day. You will feel better about yourself, your life and be proud of your achievement.

Nicotine addiction

There are many reasons people want to stop smoking, including protecting their health, saving money, protecting those around them, feeling better, and many more. If you are reading this, you most likely thought of all the above reasons and have very important ones of your own. However, many people find it hard to quit smoking. 

People get hooked on smoking because it does seem to fulfil a role in their lives for the positive – that’s why it’s so hard to quit. Some people associate smoking with stress relief without realising that they unconsciously transfer the pleasurable feelings of peace and relaxation during a smoke break to the power of a cigarette. 

A cigarette is also subconsciously seen as a friend. People and cigarettes go through all the bad times and good times together. In reality, the cigarette is not your friend – it is slowly poisoning and killing you. 

It is also hard to quit smoking because of the harmful beliefs conditioned in people from a young age through advertising, seeing beautiful scenes in films and seeing adults having a good time smoking. In addition, fear of withdrawal and fear of failing make people being afraid of doing it. 

When considering hypnosis to stop smoking, the first thing to do is make sure you are ready and choose to quit for yourself. Hypnotherapy for smoking has been most effective when the person really wants to quit and is determined to succeed.

Hypnotherapy will break the negative behaviour and thinking patterns associated with smoking. By working directly with your subconscious mind, hypnosis will help you let go of the routine and change how you view cigarettes. The hypnotherapist will support you and guide you through the motions, so you’re no longer alone in trying to quit.

Gambling addiction

Compulsive gambling is being unable to resist impulses to gamble. It can lead to severe money problems, job loss, crime or fraud, and damage to family relationships. Any type of gambling is hard to beat. It is a devastating and consuming addiction that has enormous consequences for the gambler and the people they love.

Hypnosis is a useful tool in helping those with gambling problems make lasting positive changes and live a life where they can control their urges to live without gambling controlling their decisions. Hypnosis has helped many gamblers break the addictive cycle. From people addicted to casino gambling, scratch cards, bingo to online gamblers, a qualified hypnotherapist will help you have the resilience and tools to use new strategies to deal with your urges. You will develop new methods in your life to be tempted less and less until gambling becomes less compulsive. Together with other tools, hypnosis will support you overcome this addiction. 

Social media addiction

Social media is designed to be addictive. A constant stream of dopamine-boosting likes, shares and comments can be harmful to your mental health. Some people don’t put their phones down for long periods and repeatedly check for the latest reactions to their photos and posts. When the likes or shares don’t come, it can leave them rejected and anxious. Human minds are conditioned to seek rewards, and social media networks take great advantage of that. 

According to Addiction Centre <> , addictive social media looks much like that of any other substance use disorder, including mood modification (i.e., engagement in social media leads to a favourable change in emotional states), salience (i.e., behavioural, cognitive, and emotional preoccupation with social media), tolerance (i.e., the ever-increasing use of social media over time), withdrawal symptoms (i.e., experiencing unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms when social media use is restricted or stopped), conflict (i.e., interpersonal problems ensue because of social media usage), and relapse (i.e., addicted individuals quickly revert back to their excessive social media usage after an abstinence period).

Hypnotherapy will help you address the issue of why you have the need to be on social media. You will be able to step away from your phone for long periods of time without feeling the urge to check for updates. The power of hypnosis will help you create robust new pathways in your mind, which will help you to restore control over the time you spend on social media networks. 

Gaming addiction

The video game industry has become more prevalent and increasing affordability and accessibility to this technology has made it easier to build a addiction to video gaming. The habit of video gaming is similar to that of compulsive gambling.

There are several signs which indicate that you have a gaming problem:  

  • Constantly feeling the need or compulsion to be preoccupied with video games;
  • Becoming withdrawn, distracted, aggressive or frustrated if the video games are taken away;
  • Increasing urge to spend ever more time engaged with video gaming;
  • Having tried a number of times unsuccessfully to control the need to play video games;
  • General loss or disinterest to participate in previous hobbies, sports or interests except for video gaming;
  • Continuing to play video games even though knowing associated problems;
  • Lying to others regarding the amount of time spent playing video games;
  • Using video games to escape or relieve stress, to relax for extended amounts of time; 
  • Losing a job or a relationship, perhaps procrastinating on completing educational assignments, missing sports, etc., in order to play video games.

<Source of 9 Signs that video gaming has become a habit:
Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro. The cognitive psychology of Internet gaming disorder, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2014.03.006>

Hypnotherapy can help you break this vicious cycle and take back control of your life. By working directly with your subconscious mind, hypnosis will reveal the root cause of your addiction and remove it. A qualified hypnotherapist will help you have the resilience and tools to use new strategies to deal with gaming urges. You will develop new methods in your life so that you are tempted less and less until gaming becomes less compulsive. Together with other tools, hypnosis will support you overcome this addiction. 

TV addiction

There are many reasons why people watch TV. It can:

  • teach you about specific subjects
  • offer entertainment
  • inform you about current events
  • distract you from sad or unpleasant thoughts
  • help you connect with family, friends, or others who watch the same shows

TV keeps company for people. If they spend a lot of time alone, they might turn on the TV to break the silence or ease loneliness, anxiety or boredom. 

Not everyone who watches TV becomes dependent on it. However, the problem begins when you begin to rely on TV to cope with stress and other issues. 

Here are some things to look for:

  • You regularly watch more TV than you intend to
  • You feel upset when you can’t watch TV
  • You watch TV to feel better
  • You develop health concerns
  • You notice problems in your personal relationships
  • You have a hard time cutting back

Hypnotherapy will help you find the root cause of the problem. Your hypnotherapist will support you see how your unmet or unsatisfied needs, wants, or desires push you into watching TV to make you feel better. By accessing your subconscious mind, hypnosis will eliminate the unhelpful programs and scripts running in your head and replace them with new healthy behaviour. You will be able to take back control of your life and live a happy, exciting life without relying on TV.  

Online shopping addiction

There are several different types of shopaholics, and they are as follows:

  • Compulsive shopaholics who shop when they are feeling emotional distress
  • Trophy shopaholics who are always shopping for the perfect item
  • Shopaholics who want the image of being a big spender and love flashy items
  • Bargain seekers who purchase things they don’t need because they are on sale
  • Bulimic shoppers who get caught in a vicious cycle of buying and returning
  • Collectors who don’t feel complete unless they have one item in each colour or every piece of a set

As with all addictions, shopping tends to meet a need that is missing elsewhere in the shopaholic’s life. Part of overcoming shopping addiction is meeting those needs in more healthy ways. Shopaholics often feel very bad soon after making a purchase, even though they felt good buying an item. They usually suffer from a large and increasing debt but still shop compulsively. They feel depressed and possess many items that have never been used or worn.

If you recognised yourself in the description above, hypnotherapy could help you take back control of your life. It will work with the underlying issue for your compulsive behaviour and reprogram those unhelpful programs running in your head. Your hypnotherapist will empower you to meet your needs in a healthy way and guide you in ways to do so. 

Therapists who solve this problem

Valerie Robins

Valerie Robins

Advanced hypnotherapist

Specialist in working with addictions, excess weight, bad habits and self-confidence

  • General Hypnotherapy Standards Council


Rolandas, UK

This is a review about my stop-smoking hypnotherapy with Valerie Robins. What can I say – I just stopped! It worked! I am delighted with the results. Now my family is not annoyed with me anymore, and I feel much better when I do sports or physical work in general. Thank you very much, and I recommend Valerie to other people who want to give up smoking.

Lera, UK

I came to Valerie for help with the problem of alcoholism. It was hard to accept this fact.

It turned out that I had many different personal problems and barriers. At first, I didn't really believe in this method, but I decided to try it, because there was nothing to lose. We have worked on many issues, now I don't drink, and I have discovered new horizons for myself - I fell in love with extreme sports, although I was very afraid of anything like that before. I definitely recommend hypnotherapy with Valerie, but you need to be prepared for this psychologically, emotionally and physically. Good health to all!

Sophie, UK

Hey Valerie just thought I would give you an update!! I’ve cut down the weed a hell of a lot, some days I even go without!! 

And I’m also considering taking on more clients for my hairdressing!! The hypnotherapy really boosted my confidence, Thank you again and I hope you’re well!! X

Diana, Spain

Hello Katerina, thank you for your help!! I regained my self-confidence after your sessions. I react calmly to critics and am not afraid to express myself. My worrying is gone without a trace and most importantly I do not bite my nails anymore? I feel in harmony and can easily change my habits. I'm not working on my snacking habits and correcting my approach to food? I would not be here without your sessions. As a side effect, I do not want alcohol at all. I used to drink a couple of glasses on a Friday after a hard week. Nowadays, even when a week is tough I do not want to drink any alcohol, I'm learning to relax in other ways instead?