Discussing Alcohol, Dependency, Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety, Dopamine and Much More with One of London’s Leading Psychiatrists Dr. Alberto Pertusa – Bonus Episode!

What is an addiction and what causes it? Is there a link between addiction and ADHD? I dive into the topic with Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Alberto Pertusa as he shares valuable insights from his work.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • How Dr. Pertusa became a consultant psychiatrist

  • The link between ADHD and addiction

  • Physical dependence and psychological reliance

  • The stages of dependency

  • Alcohol addiction versus alcohol dependency

  • The kindling effect

  • The types of addiction

  • The factors that trigger, perpetuate or predispose someone to addiction

  • The link between obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction

  • What causes dopamine spikes

  • What happens when you drink alcohol

  • The relationship between anxiety and addiction

  • Strategies that you can employ to fight problematic alcohol use

Key Takeaways:

  • Addictions are very much related to a dysregulation in the reward system of the brain, and one of the main substances is the dopamine, which is the main reward neurotransmitter, and ADHD is also linked to a dysregulation in the neurotransmitter system in the brain as well as the dopamine system.

  • Once a substance becomes a person’s coping mechanism, they are at much higher risk of addiction.

  • You can be addicted but not dependent. The majority of addictions don’t have an element of physiological or medical dependence at all.

  • You know that you are dependent when you realize that about 12 to 20 hours without the substance, generally alcohol, you start feeling shaky, clammy, and anxious.

  • Any mental condition or any type of mental suffering can lead to addiction, particularly PTSD or a history of trauma.

  • Social phobia is an anxiety condition that is extremely linked to alcohol use.

Action Steps:

  • Get psychoeducation. If you know about the physical and mental consequences of a substance, then you are much more insightful as to realising what the consequences are.

  • If you think you have a problem with addiction, seek help. Talk to someone who can help you take accountability for your problem behaviour.

Dr. Alberto Pertusa said:

“Everyone is hard-wired in a different way, so if something gives you a kick, and in medical terms sometimes we use the term a dopamine spike… you are very likely to become addicted to that.”

“Addiction is a spectrum, so you can have many addicted behaviours. And we don’t want to pathologise normal behaviour, but we all have a lot of behaviours that we realise we do excessively, and changing that would probably be a good idea.”

Thanks for listening!

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Links to things we discuss in the show:

More from Dr. Alberto Pertusa:

Dr. Pertusa’s Website

Dr. Pertusa’s Email

Dr. Pertusa’s Twitter (@PsychiatristLDN)

Dr.Pertusa’s LinkedIn

More from Leanne Spencer:

Bodyshot Performance

Bodyshot Performance Limited Facebook page

Remove the Guesswork BOOK by Leanne Spencer
Rise and Shine BOOK by Leanne Spencer

Leanne’s Email


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