In the APA Dictionary of Psychology, psychological dependence is defined as "dependence on a psychoactive substance for the reinforcement it provides."  Most times psychological dependence is classified under addiction. They are similar in that addiction is a physiological "craving" for something and psychological dependence is a "need" for a particular substance because it causes enjoyable mental affects.
A person becomes dependent on something to help alleviate specific emotions. Psychological dependence begins after the first trial which a person then becomes satisfied and the satisfaction increases with each use. This constant feeling leads to psychological reinforcement which eventually leads to dependence. Along with substances, people can also become dependent on activities as well; such as shopping, pornography, self-harm, and many more. While a psychologically dependent person attempts to recover, there are many withdrawal symptoms that one can experience throughout the process. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are: headache, poor judgement, trembling hands, and loss of attention span and focusing. When trying to over come psychological dependence on a drug, one can go to a substance abuse program.
- VandenBos, Gary R. APA Dictionary of Psychology. 1st ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007. Print.
- Myers, David G. Psychology. 9th ed. New York: Worth, 2010. Print.
- Hanson, Glen, Peter J. Venturelli, and Annette E. Fleckenstein. Drugs and Society. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2009. Print.
- "Defining Addiction, Physical and Psychological Dependence to Drugs, Alcohol and Other Related Addictions." Drug Rehabilitation | Alcohol and Drug Rehab Clinic. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.treatment-now.com/resources/addiction/>.
- The national center on addiction and substance abuse at Columbia University:"Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities", march 2007, also published on http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/publications_reports.aspx?keywords=psychological+dependence