Contrary to stereotypes and myths about addicted people, there are people who look “normal” and healthy, but are in fact struggling with their inner demons because they’re addicted to drugs, alcohol, or behaviors such as gambling.
Addiction doesn’t always manifest itself as people who are emaciated, poor, homeless, and jobless. There are also people who are highly functioning but are struggling with very strong urges brought about by being addicted to substances or behaviors. And you could be one of those people.
You may be addicted, but you just don’t know it. You may be addicted to drugs, prescription pills, alcohol, gambling, nicotine (cigarettes), food, online shopping, video games, sex, pornography, and social media, to name a few.
The fact is, anyone can easily fall into the glittering, attractive and seemingly feel-good trap of addiction. At first you may just be curious to try, or want to fit in, or even try to forget your troubles so you engage in the substance or activity you eventually became addicted to. However, as time passes, addiction develops.
Do you think you’re addicted?
Watch out for these symptoms to see if you are addicted:
- Losing interest in things, activities, people that you used to like
- Neglecting to fulfill the responsibilities, duties, and commitments at work, in school, with family and friends
- Sudden change in behavior (mood swings, irritability, anger, aggression)
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleeping habits
- Change in routine
- Secretive behavior
- Being defensive about their whereabouts and preoccupations
- Planning out or focusing their activities around how and when they’re going to get their next “fix”
- The activity changes from a mere “want” to an “urge” or “craving”
- Wanting to consume larger amounts to get the same experience as when they started using it, or in behavioral addiction, doing the activity more frequently or trying to go over the usual limits or norms
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they try to cut down or stop