Addiction is a condition that affects literally every demographic on earth. There is no group, nation or sect of people that is immune to addiction, including every second person on earth: women. When it comes to women’s addiction studies, we observe that addiction looks different on women than it does on men, for a number of reasons. Causes of addiction in women tend to include things like environment, life stress and mental disorders.
The environment a woman is surrounded by is one of the biggest factors influencing whether or not she is addicted. The environment that a women was surrounded by growing up is the one that contributes most significantly to her addictive tendencies. A women’s psyche is greatly affected by the guardians who raised her, siblings and peers in her youth and life events that occurred when she was young. This time in her life molds her into the mental healthiness or unhealthiness that she will grow into. The environment she was raised in will inform the environment she finds herself in as an adult and will play a large part in the decisions she makes as an adult, including whether or not she is addicted.
Life stress contributes a great deal to a woman’s addiction as well. Women become prone to addiction when things are not moving in a positive direction in their lives. If children are having behavioral problems or a spouse is not contributing like they should, women take it to heart heavily. If they are let go from a job or are victim to a traumatic experience, their stress level increases exponentially. This can be the impetus for a woman’s addiction, as it is often leaned on as a coping mechanism.
Mental disorders are also a leading cause of addiction among women. When a person has a mental disorder and an addiction, it is called a co-occurring disorder. It can be confusing determining which came first; the mental disorder or the addiction, but a mental health professional who specializes in co-occurring disorders can distinguish them. When women have mental disorders, it wreaks havoc on their emotions and they will often form addictive habits as a way of escaping.