How Do You Know If You Are Addicted?


Addiction is vast, and it involves any specific activity, substance, or thing. Generally, addiction means that your behaviors are out of control, unhealthy, and interfering with your normal life.

Although addiction ranges from shopping, to crack; there's basic signs for any addiction. This list provides signs that can be seen no matter what addiction you're suffering from.

Usually you will see or notice a number of these signs in order to indicate addiction.

It doesn't always take more than one to mean you are addicted​

On the flip side, just because you see one of these signs does not necessarily indicate addiction, however there are some signs that by themselves, can be a very strong sign of a serious problem.

This is your first step in recognizing whether your specific situation means that you have an addiction. The second step is getting professional help to overcome it.

Basic signs that you are "addicted"

  1. Obsessing about the unhealthy behavior in question. This means that you're thinking about your 'unhealthy behavior' all the time. You will more than likely talk about it a lot, and even try and persuade those around you to participate as well.
  2. Seeking out the substance, or activity over and over. Even if negative consequences are developing, you still seek it out.
  3. Denial is a common sign. Everyone around you is telling you that something is wrong, but you simply don't acknowledge it.
  4. Attempting to stop, but you are unsuccessful. If you are continually taking part in an unhealthy behavior, try to stop, but relapse. This is a real concern.
  5. Losing control over behaviors.
  6. Hiding unhealthy behaviors from others. In a way, you already know that something is not right if you have to hide it.
  7. Being highly compulsive, not thinking about how you act.
  8. Craving the substance or activity when you're not experiencing it.
  9. Becoming withdrawn from others if it does not involve your unhealthy behavior.
  10. A history of abuse; sexual, mental, or physical.
  11. You suffer from a mental illness, such as anxiety disorder, or depression in connection with the unhealthy behavior.
  12. Financial problems will occur within most addictions. You become invested in your unhealthy behavior, so all of your money goes towards driving it.
  13. You experience relief after using, or engaging in your addictive behavior/activity.
  14. Defensiveness is common amongst addicts. When approached, you may become highly defensive, sometimes even aggressive.
  15. Constantly blaming others. You may blame your unhealthy behavior on your sister, mom, or neighbor. The facts are that won't make you better.
  16. You feel guilt and shame due to your drug/alcohol use, and your unhealthy behavior.
  17. All your time is spent seeking out your unhealthy behavior, and ways in which you can relieve your anxiety associated with not fulfilling your need.
  18. Enjoying isolation, because no one bothers you regarding your unhealthy behavior.
  19. You have changed your friends in order to meet the needs of your unhealthy behavior.
  20. You have experienced legal issues due to the extent of your unhealthy behavior.
  21. Appearance has diminished. It is not only substances that diminish your appearance. The stress and anxiety of compulsive behaviors also take a toll on your appearance.
  22. You can not limit yourself. Cutting back does not seem to work, your unhealthy behavior takes over.
  23. You will shake when you can not get your next fix.
  24. Lack of sleep due to re-occurring thoughts. You may also be kept awake due to the unhealthy behavior.
  25. You have built a tolerance. This may be a physical tolerance to drugs and alcohol, or a tolerance to the amount you need to spend gambling. You will need to continually increase your dosage, or activity in order to get that same rush.
  26. Your personality has changed. You experience mood swings, anxiety, depression, or all of the above.
  27. You can't hold a job, or stay in school.
  28. Your eating habits have changed. This may be due to a lack of appetite, no money, or not making the time. You will more than likely see changes in your weight; gaining or losing.
  29. Change in your activities. You will no longer take part in many activities that do not involve your unhealthy behavior.
  30. Broken relationships with friends and family.

Do you know of any other signs?

Do you have any advice to help someone recognized they are addicted?

Please comment below......

About the Author:

Kara Crow is a substance abuse treatment consultant. She joined The Recovery Way last year and has been working to develop and implement new treatment strategies, and to analyze addiction treatment services. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

Kara Crow – who has written posts on The Recovery Way.

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