Self-control is a central factor in all types of addiction. Many of the signs of addiction are closely associated with an inability to maintain a healthy level of self-control.
Typical signs of addiction include:
- The inability to stay away from a substance or stop a specific pattern of behaviour. Some individuals will actively seek out situations as a way of encouraging specific behaviours. This is also closely linked to an increase in secretive behavioural patterns.
- The display of a lack of self-control
- An increased desire for a specific substance or behaviour
- Denial (dismissal of how a behaviour is causing problems)
- The addict acknowledging problems caused by their addiction, but finding it increasingly difficult to stop their behaviour
- Showing little or no emotional response
- Insomnia or memory loss
Other emotional and behavioural changes often noted with addiction can also include:
- An unrealistic or poor assessment of right and wrong associated with certain behaviours or using a substance.
- Blaming other people or factors for an addiction and / or the consequences
- Experiencing increased levels of anxiety and depression
- Experiencing increased sensitivity, and consequently, more severe reactions to stress
- Finding it difficult to identify feelings and emotions
- Difficulty with differentiating between emotions and physical sensations associated with feelings