Am I Really Addicted - Premier Counseling
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Addiction written on wood grain

Am I Really Addicted

Addiction is a complex and evolving thing. Many people spend years fluctuating between believing they definitely have a problem and convincing themselves they’re fine. First and foremost, if you think you have a problem with alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, or other substances or behaviors, it’s okay to ask for help – even if you haven’t hit the proverbial rock bottom. There is no such thing as “addicted enough” for therapy. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the early indicators of addiction and how it impacts lives. If you think you may need help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to talk with you about your experience and how therapy can be an important step in the process of addiction recovery.

What Is Addiction?

In therapy, we can use a lot of complicated language to define addiction. In the simplest terms, an addiction is when some thing (drugs, alcohol, food) or behavior (gambling, sex, shopping) takes priority in your life. You make time for it. You spend money you don’t have on it. You do harm to yourself and to your relationships to feed the addiction. Your experience with addiction will not look exactly like anyone else’s, but almost every client I work with who struggles with addiction tells me they knew for a long time they had a problem. You will know addiction by what it looks and feels like and how it impacts your life.

What Are Common Signs of Addiction?

Every person is different, but some of the common signs of addiction include:

  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Not eating
  • Changes in weight
  • Not wanting to engage with people who don’t approve of or directly support your addiction
  • Increasing tolerance/need for more of your addictive substance or behavior to feel good
  • Spending most or all of your time thinking about substance use or planning to engage in addictive behaviors
  • Failing to keep up with other obligations like paying bills, going to work, or keeping promises to loved ones
  • Becoming financially unstable because of spending related to addiction
  • Borrowing and stealing to fund the addiction
  • Feeling unable to forego addictive behaviors or substances even when they cause direct harm to the self or others
  • Wanting to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior, but you feel like there’s always an excuse for just one more time

What if I Want to Change?

Change is hard. Later this month, we’re going to post a blog about addiction and motivation to change. Many people with addiction want to make positive changes in their lives, but they find themselves feeling overwhelmed, disappointed in themselves, or just wanting to give up. If you truly want to make a change, it is possible, and therapy (as part of a complete continuum of care within an addiction recovery plan) can help you find that motivation to take the first step or sustain recovery even in tough times. If you’re interested in learning more, please get in touch with the Central Arkansas Group Counseling team to schedule a consultation.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash