Feeling enjoyment and having fun does not have anything pathological. Naturally, people have this potential and they get these feelings. Inherently, there is nothing wrong about participating in a pleasurable activity. However, there is a line between addiction and activity. This lies where a neutral or positive activity takes a negative turn decidedly.
Eating healthy, having sex, consuming junk food, working out in the gym, watching Netflix, playing video games, and social media all have this line. And, a person can cross this line to enter the negative territory. Some addictive behaviors do not entail the use of chemical substances. And, these have several conditions that can be used to determine their severity in terms of how people use them. Here are signs that should tell you that you have an addiction.
You know that you have an addiction and need to call the national drug abuse hotline numbers: free addiction help 24/7 if a substance has become extremely important in your life yet it is affecting how you live negatively. This is a number that is manned by addiction experts that are always ready to help callers overcome their problems. These experts can guide you to get the most appropriate help with your addiction. They can also provide information about the available rehabs and treatment options in your area.
So, if a substance or something has become extremely important in your life and you can’t imagine a life without it, know that you have an addiction. Additionally, determine the amount of the substance that you are using and how it’s affecting you.
2. Reward Response
Why do you use the substance or do something that has become extremely important in your life? Does it make you feel in control or better? Do you feel worse when you don’t use the substance or do something?
Naturally, you feel better when you do the things you enjoy. You also feel better when you avoid what you dislike. Essentially, you enjoy the positive payoff that comes with doing or avoiding something. But, some people do certain things to obscure negative consequences.
For instance, some people use drugs or drink alcohol to avoid stressful feelings or anxiety. Unfortunately, this eventually leads to addiction. Thus, they end up calling the addiction helpline to overcome their problem because they can’t do it alone.
How often do you do or use something? Do you do it or use it longer and more often than initially planned? If yes, it means you have developed what experts call a never-enough compulsion. For instance, you may feel compelled to get a little more of the addictive substance all the time. You could have a craving for more that develops whenever you try to quit.
The activity, like using a drug, may have taken a center stage in your life. Thus, you can’t go for a day or hours without taking the drug. What’s more, you crave for or yearn for the time to use the substance or engage in an activity. That means the substance or activity is slowly taking over control of your life. And, this is what addiction is mostly about.
How do you feel when you try to avoid using or doing something? Does the attempt make you uncomfortable or anxious? Have you realized that you can’t do without it? Maybe you get anxious whenever you think about using or doing something.
A great way to determine how important something has become in your life is to find out if you can do without it. If your physical and emotional response is highly destructive, you’re already addicted to it. This should prompt you to call the national addiction hotline for assistance.
Essentially, you have an addiction if you anticipate a higher level of pain and panic if you think about going without something. It means that you have an addition to something that holds you stronger than you think.
Research indicates that addiction can disrupt different aspects of a person’s life, including their entire family. So, has something disrupted your relationships and life? A life compares to a drawer that is filled with old-school hanging folders. This drawer has space to hold files only. Whenever a file called “Facebook”, “Video Games”, “Checking in”, or “Texting” is added to this drawer, other folders have to be pushed around to create room for the new file.
Inside this drawer are files called “Family”, “Work”, “Chores”, and “Sleep”. Some of the files in this drawer are not fun. They are heavy, thick, and tend to take up more space than others. When you add more files into your life drawer, you put more pressure on the people and things that you already have.
How often do you say that you will do something different yet you continue with your old habit because you can’t do without something? If yes, you have an addiction and you should call rehab for assistance. In some cases, people with an addiction plan to do something different but end up doing more of what they are used to.
For instance, you can plan to do something pleasurable, fun, and healthy to distract yourself from using an addictive substance. But, an attempt to deprive the body and mind of an addictive substance or activity is accompanied by many reasons or rationales justifying why this is not the right time to do it.
Some people even deny the existence of an addiction problem when unable to do something different. Research has indicated that persistent denial is significantly correlated with impairment of verbal memory, executive function, mental speed, and visual inference.
If you are exhibiting these signs, you have an addiction. Therefore, call an addiction hotline number to seek professional assistance. The experts manning this number will ask a few questions to understand your problem and guide you accordingly. Thus, the simple act of calling this number can mark the turning point of your life. That’s because these experts will help you deal with the addiction problem to eventually lead a sober, healthier, and happier life.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez