What are the signs of addiction?

What are the signs of addiction?

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
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