How do you know if something you enjoy doing is a habit or is becoming an addiction? Perhaps the easiest way to determine this is by asking yourself a few questions and answering them honestly.
The obvious questions you could ask yourself are, can you function in your day to day life without the use of whatever it is that you crave, does whatever you do take up more and more of your time everyday? There is however other signs that can indicate your habit has turned into an addiction:
Psychological signs of addiction
- You use drugs or alcohol or something else to forget about everyday problems.
- You become increasingly withdrawn and start lying to family and friends.
- You lose interest in activities that used to interest you.
- You begin to have problems in work or school, such as time off or poor quality work.
- You only hang out with people who enjoy the same habit.
- You spend a lot of time finding ways to get more drink or drugs or whatever you enjoy.
- You begin to start selling property or stealing from others to fund your particular habit.
- You have repeatedly tried to put a stop to your habit but have failed.
- You begin to suffer from depression, anxiety and have anger outbursts.
- Your mood swings back and forth rapidly.
Physical signs of addiction
- You don’t sleep as soundly as you did or have night sweats or nightmares.
- You feel ill, shaky or sick when you try to stop.
- You need to take more or perform your habit on an increasingly regular basis to get the same effect as you did in the beginning.
- Your eating habits change and you either begin to lose weight or to put on weight.
Admitting you have a problem
The first step to recovering from addiction is made by admitting you actually have a problem with addiction, the majority of people will need help and support when giving up their habit. Recovery will very rarely be successful when trying to go it alone, the most important thing you can do is to find someone that you can trust to talk to.
If you are young and you can’t talk with your parent’s then try approaching a school councillor, favourite teacher or your Doctor. Over coming the battle of addiction whatever the addiction may be is never easy so remember it isn’t a sign of weakness if you ask for help.
Quitting your addiction will probably be the hardest thing you will ever have to face and will take a great amount of will power and determination on your part and that of those helping you. Once you have decided to quit your addiction there are several tips which can make life a little easier:
- Tell people you have a problem and that you are quitting it – The more people who know of your problem and the fact that you are fighting it, the easier it will be for you, your true friends will be there to support you through the hard times.
- Ask friends and family if they are willing to available to you – while you are going through the toughest times during quitting your addiction, you may need help and support at any time day or night, ask friends and family if you can call them whenever you need them.
- Keep away from places where you know you might be tempted – if your addiction is alcohol for example avoid accepting invitations to pubs or clubs, stay away from any places where you know you could be most tempted.
- Prepare a plan beforehand – if you know you will be put in a position that is unavoidable where you are most likely to be tempted than have a plan ready for how you will cope with the situation, for example you could have a code worked out with friends attending which means get me out of here I’ve had enough.
- Keep a journal – keep written documentation of your thoughts and feelings, writing down anything and everything even if it is in an unorganised manner, just get your thoughts and feelings out.
- Keep reminding yourself that your addiction doesn’t make you weak – what you are doing requires great strength on your part and in no way does it make you weak or a bad person.