Thursday, March 2, 2017

The 6 Signs of Addictive Behavior- How to Tell if You or a Loved One is an Addict

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I don't know that I had just one a-ha moment that told me I was an addict and an alcoholic.  I started using and drinking as a young teenager.   I always knew that I partied harder than anyone around me could keep up.  It was never a secret to myself or anyone in my life that I had a serious problem.

But what if someone doesn't have such an obvious problem as mine?  What if its a behavior that has popped up later in life for someone who has never shown addict behavior previously.  Or what if its a sixteen year old  that thinks, "I'm too young to be an addict."  "I'm just curious and experimenting."

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So the question is: How do you know if you're an addict or alcoholic?

Here are the 6 Signs That Your Addicted to something from Psychology Today:

Importance: How important has it become to your sense of self and the way you live your life? You can determine importance not only by how much you’re doing it, but also by how much you’re not doing other things. Priority equals importance.

Reward response: Does doing it make you feel better, more in control? Does not doing it make you feel worse? Doing things you enjoy makes you feel better. Avoiding things you dislike can make you feel better, at least initially. There is a positive physical payoff to all this activity that can obscure the negative consequences.

Prevalence: Do you find yourself doing it more often and for longer periods of time than you originally planned? This is the never-enough compulsion. If you feel compelled to say, “Just a little bit more,” all the time, you’re carving out more and more space in your life for these activities. The question becomes, in order to carve out this time, to what else are you taking the knife?

Cessation: Do you feel anxious or uncomfortable if you cannot do it or if you just think about not doing it? One way to gauge how important these things have become to you is to consider doing without them. Your initial emotional and physical response can be highly instructive. The higher the level of panic and pain you anticipate, the stronger the hold they have on you.

Disruption: Has doing it disrupted your life and your relationships? Imagine your life as a drawer full of those old-school hanging folders. The drawer only has so much space for files. Every time you add a file called “Texting” or “Facebook” or “Checking in” or “Video Games” you have to push folders around to find room in the drawer. Inside that drawer are already files called “Sleep,” “Family,” “Chores” and “Work.” Some of the files in your drawer aren’t fun; they’re thick and heavy and take up a lot of space. The more new stuff you’re trying to pack into that drawer of your life, the more pressure it puts on the things and people already there.

Reverting: Do you often say to yourself you’re going to do something different but then turn around and keep doing the same thing—or doing it even more? This is the “I’ll diet again on Monday” syndrome. If you’ve already made room in your virtual file drawer for something fun and pleasurable, or at least distracting, just thinking about depriving yourself of it brings up a wealth of rationales and reasons why “right now” is just not the best time to stop.

Admitting there is a problem, is one of the bravest things that someone can do.  It takes humility, courage and strength to see it.  It is not always an easy step.  But it is the first step for a reason.  And because its the first step, its the most important.

Recovery,alcoholic, alcoholic, hope,faith,love,change,motivation,inspiration,change is possible, god, christ, Jesus Christ, JesusIf you can relate to this post, and you feel that an addictive behavior is affecting your quality of life and what’s most important to you, it may be time to seek professional help.

Here are some resources that can help:

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