What is Addiction?
The problem is that denial, defensiveness, and fear are often factors for people who may be addicted. This makes identifying addiction a tricky process.
So, to make things clear, here are the 9 main signs of addiction.
The 9 Signs of Addiction
- No Control: You feel like you have to do or take whatever it is you're addicted to. So, maybe you say I'm not using Facebook tomorrow'. But when tomorrow comes, you just have to use it. So, you do. You're compelled to do it.
- No Choice: You don't choose to do it, you find yourself doing it. You might not even notice you're doing it. It's that moment you realise your having a cigarette, or on Facebook, or whatever, and you haven't really made a choice to do so. It just happened.
- Needing More: You find yourself doing it over and over, more and more, or in higher intensities, to get a better kick or high. Whatever it is - social networking, food, exercise, porn. You keep coming back for more, because you want another kick. Escalation, increasing the dose of the addiction, is common here.
- Use: You indulge regularly when you want to manage boredom, loneliness, tiredness, anger, pain, self-hate, stress, or any other unpleasant feeling. So, smokers claim having cigarette helps them relax. Video game addicts claim video games helps them "switch off".
- Dependence: You feel you couldn't cope without it. This fear of not being able to cope can often lead to denial.
- Time: A lot of your time is spent either indulging the addiction or trying to fight it. Often this can result in thoughts during indulgence, such as 'I really should be doing X, Y, or Z' or even 'I'd really like to do A, B or C' such as 'I really should go to bed now'. However, the addictive behaviour continues on regardless.
- Obsessive: You put lots of emotional and mental energy into hiding, handling, indulging, or struggling with the addiction. The addiction is always on your mind.
- Energy: You end up tired, even 'frazzled,' after spending a lot of your energy on indulging the addiction instead of doing other, more nourishing or relaxing activities.
- Disruption: The addiction affects your self-esteem, family relationships, social, love or work life, while also impacting on your physical and mental health.
Are you Addicted?
If you live in Bristol and wish to seek counselling-based addiction support, you can arrange an appointment to see me. Go to my contact me page for ways to get in touch. If you live in the UK and want to seek counselling support, you can go to the BACP's Find a Therapist website for help finding a counsellor in your local area.
Alternatively, you can contact your local GP or Medical Practitioner for advice on services available in you local area.
Further Resources on Addiction
Recovery is Possible