10 Indications That Something Has You Firmly Addicted – The Definitive e-Book
Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges when it comes to any kind of addiction is the fact that many of those who are addicted simply do not know that they have a problem. In truth addiction can be incredibly unobvious and even a bit nebulous. One of the first steps in dealing with any type of addiction is determining whether there is an actual addiction or just some plain old fun at hand.
Obviously, the most ubiquitous and most common addictions usually relate to drug and alcohol abuse. Many accurate estimates from trusted rehab sources have concluded that well over 20 million Americans have some level of addiction as it relates to illicit drugs or alcohol. These statistics are typically tabulated for those over the age of 12. Also keep in mind that addiction goes far beyond substance abuse to include a wide range of behavioral related addictions. From gambling to pornography and sex, gripping addictions can take many forms and can be just as devastating regardless of the source of the addiction.
Medical research as well as an abundance of scientific studies has clearly indicated that there is a greater chance of becoming addicted to something when addiction runs in the family. While science has not yet specifically isolated an addiction gene, so to speak, there is clear proof and evidence that individuals can inherit certain types of vulnerabilities that make them more susceptible to addiction. Even though there is still much work to be done in this regard, there is without a doubt, certain genetic predispositions to addictive behavior.
As a side note, just because a person carries a certain genetically related predisposition to addiction does not necessarily mean that they will become an addict. Indeed, addictive behavior occurs in only approximately 50% of those with a genetic predisposition to addictive behavior. Keeping these facts in mind, those concerned that they could become addicted to anything from sex to alcohol or drugs may wish to consider these nine frequently identifiable signs that addiction is affecting one’s life to some degree.
Taking a Rain Check on Various Social Situations
Those who have become addicted in some form to a substance or behavior may become less interested in events, pastimes and activities that they once thoroughly enjoyed. This happens because an individual is more interested in the addiction and less interested in any activity that does not involve that addiction. Keep in mind that an addict will often shy away from social activities and situations where they are unable to pacify their addictive needs. In more severe cases, those who are addicted may become so obsessed with their addictive behavior that even personal hygiene, sustenance such as food and other basic needs are simply neglected or completely ignored. In short, those who avoid social situations because they are entirely focused on their addiction may in fact have a serious problem that should be addressed.
Even in Light of Negative Consequences, You Continue With The Addiction
When the negative consequences of certain behaviors are not taken into account, this can be a serious problem for an individual. For example, neglecting personal hygiene can cause embarrassing social situations under normal circumstances. Conversely, those who are entirely consumed by an addiction will disregard any detrimental consequences that are encountered. This is contrary to more normally regulated behavior where negative consequences can have a direct impact on behavior. When the human brain is confronted with addiction, an individual may simply accept serious problems or consequences as a way to justify an addiction. Many aspects of life can be sacrificed because of addiction including everything from relationships to employment and personal health as well as family life.
Addictive Behavior is Increasingly Kept Secretive
This sign or indicator is usually first identified by friends or family rather than the addict. Those who are continually secretive about everything from relationships to activities in their personal space may have a serious issue with addiction. At the very core of secretive behavior is usually the emotion of shame. Those with addictions often feel that their usage or behavior is in some way socially unacceptable, excessive or shameful. This justifies the desire to keep addictive behavior private, invisible or free from any unwanted interference. Not only is secretive behavior related to addiction a clear sign that there is a problem, but it also can actually be very dangerous for those who participate in potentially life-threatening activity such as is the case with excessive drug use.
Any Attempt To Stop The Addiction Results in Withdrawal Symptoms
Perhaps most prevalent as it relates to substance abuse, “withdrawal” is nothing more than the physical body becoming severely distressed when a behavior, substance or drug that has been used heavily is removed or abruptly taken away. Scientific research and medical studies have shown that withdrawing from prescription medications such as painkillers and even heroin results in a few days of flulike symptoms that are often serious in nature. In more extreme cases where an individual comes off of psychoactive drugs cold turkey, there may be seizures and intense anxiety for up to several weeks. One example of powerful withdrawal symptoms is what happens when an individual abruptly stops using cocaine. This can cause up to two weeks of depression, whereas stopping alcohol addiction abruptly can produce tremors that can last for several weeks. Keep in mind that the severity of withdrawal symptoms is directly related to the severity of the addiction. As a note, those withdrawing from emotional addictions such as sex or gambling may experience ongoing irritability and restlessness.
Levels of Tolerance Increase Substantially
Less to do with the body’s ability to consume a large amount of a substance or physical or mental activity, tolerance has more to do with the actual relationship between the reaction that the addiction creates and the amount of behavior or quantity of addictive substance in question. When an individual advances into any type of addiction, the body becomes more accustomed to the substance or behavior over time, requiring more and more of whatever is causing the addiction as a way to achieve the same high or emotional or physical satisfaction. This is sometimes referred to in medical circles as “adaptation.” As a note, most addicts are completely unaware of increasing tolerance levels as they occur.
Increasingly Taking Excessive Risks or Making Extreme Sacrifices
Those who have become addicted to something will generally exhibit more extreme risk-taking behavior. This is because the addicted brain will do virtually anything to satisfy the addiction at hand. Scientific data and medical research have indicated that the addicted brain is actually structured differently. This results in more extreme risk-taking in order to maintain a certain level of satisfaction or to obtain a certain degree of “high.” In short, those who become addicted do not perceive risk in the same ways as a person who is not addicted. When someone becomes addicted they may be more willing to take extreme risks in order to satisfy the addiction. From stealing from friends and family to driving dangerously, there are many instances where addiction causes an individual to take increasingly higher levels of risk in life.
Those Who Are Heavily Addicted Simply Can’t Seem To Stop
Medical experts and others with an in-depth understanding of addiction generally agree that when someone is unable to limit their use of a substance or limit an activity clearly have a symptom of addiction. Addiction can really be broken down into anything that interferes with a person’s ability to control their behavior. When someone loses the ability to stop excessive behavior or an addiction they have in essence lost control. Addicts find it increasingly difficult to stop a particular behavior or to place limits on that behavior. In many ways the addiction takes over and is controlling the individual making self-control nearly impossible.
Loss of The Enjoyment of Life
Sometimes when the simplest things in life become uninteresting, there may be some type of addiction at play. From taking a walk on the beach to spending time with family or taking in a great movie, there are many basic and enjoyable things in life that simply go overlooked when addiction becomes all-encompassing. In many cases addiction becomes the centerpiece of one’s life to the exclusion of anything simple and enjoyable. Alcoholism is just one example of where an individual may find greater satisfaction in the “bottle” then in their family. It is often the simple things in life that are the most fulfilling and most satisfying, that is why addiction can be so disruptive to an individual’s life and well being.
An Addiction Becomes Necessary in Dealing With Life’s Problems
Many who are addicted to a behavior or substance may find that they have a compulsion or a constant craving to continue the addiction as a way to handle life’s challenges on a daily basis. In essence, those who are seriously addicted often discover that the behavior or substance in question is absolutely necessary as a way to function in the world in which we live. As a matter of fact many addicts often turn away from treatment simply because they would rather not stop the addiction. This is likely due to the fact that the addiction becomes a crutch that falsely causes an individual to believe that it makes life easier.
Constantly Making Excuses When Friends and Family Show Concern
It is a proven fact that many addicts have a regular tendency of making excuses when they sense that friends or family are concerned for their wellbeing. In many cases it is standard practice for an addict to deny the gravity or severity of their addiction. Making excuses becomes the easy way of dealing with their addiction. Even those who completely understand that they are in fact an addict will always deny that truth when dealing with friends and family. In short, addicts will always find an excuse or a reason for their addictive behavior. In the most basic of terms, those who are addicted will find any justification necessary to allow the addictive behavior to continue regardless of how outrageous, illogical or unfounded it may be.
Anytime you feel that you have a problem or an addiction, the first step is to talk with your medical practitioner. In many cases therapy, treatment or rehab may be recommended as a way to help you regain control of your life. Those with addiction related problems should never hesitate to seek out help from friends, family or a medical professional. When your quality of life rests in the balance, asking for help is always a good idea. Always know that help is available.