Before you can get help, you’ve got to recognise that you’ve got an addiction. In addition, the pain your addiction inflicts on you must be more painful than any perceived benefits. Does it feel like your life has become unmanageable?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to determine this easily because, according to brain imaging studies, addiction impairs areas in the brain that relate to behaviour control, judgment, memory, learning and decision making.
With that being the case, how can you honestly know if you’re an addict?
According to the American Psychiatric Association as well as the World Health Organization, you’re considered an addict if you meet three or more of the following criteria:
- You need more alcohol or drugs over a period of time to get the same high you had when you first started using.
- You experience physical or emotional withdrawal when you’re not using.
- You find yourself drinking or using drugs more than you’d like.
- You continue to use regardless of the negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, and family.
- You frequently avoid or cut back on social, work, recreational, and household activities.
- You spend a significant amount of time thinking about, concealing, recovering, or planning for your use.
- You desire to cut down (perhaps you’ve even tried).
Although most people think addictions are related solely to substance abuse; addictions can also be behavioural. If you feel out of control with your behaviours, such as over-eating or gambling, then this can be a sign of addiction too.
If you identified with three or more of the above and you aren’t satisfied with your current lifestyle; it would be beneficial for you to consider therapy. Remember, the sooner you ask for help the sooner you can feel better. Only you will honestly know if you have addiction issues. Ultimately only you have the power to address this by making healthy changes.
There is an ‘easier softer way’.
If you wish, please make contact with me for support towards recovery.