Addiction is very destructive and very dangerous. If you yourself suspect that you are addicted or if you suspect that a friend or a family member may be, do not ignore the early signs and care enough to help your loved one handle the addiction as early as possible to help minimize the negative effects of the addiction to both their physical and mental well-being.
It is instinctive for a loved one to shy away from asking questions or brush off any suspicions of addiction because of fear of handling the truth, denial, and because they have in their heads a stereotype of what an addict is and the character of their loved one doesn’t fall into that. Although there may be obvious signs of addiction, most of the time the symptoms are very subtle because of the addict’s efforts to hide their addiction.
There are some common characteristics among different addictions and being able to confirm addiction in the early stages will certainly increase the chances of an addict to recover from the addiction successfully.
- An addict is obsessed with the object of his addiction and it may seem that this is the only thing that they care about.
- An addict will seek out his addiction and will continually engage in this behavior despite the negative consequences. Though they see that it is resulting to poor health, problems at school or work, and even issues with family and friends, they will still go out and continue with the habit.
- Even if they feel that they want to stop the addiction, the addict will compulsively engage in the addiction and will find it very difficult to remove themselves from the situation.
- In the absence of the object of the addiction, an addict will start to feel withdrawal symptoms and early stages will include irritability, cravings for the object of addiction, depression, and restlessness.
- An addict will lose total self-control and will excessively partake in the addiction despite his desire to stop. His body will dictate when, how, and how much of the activity he would need.
- You would often find an addict denying the problem even if the addiction is very obvious and its negative effects are very apparent to others.
- An addict will exert all efforts to try to hide the addiction with family, friends, and coworkers and will start hiding stuff and act very suspicious.
- Addicts will often report blackouts or will fail to remember things that they did during the times that they were engaging in the addiction.
- It is very common for addicts to display depression and sudden changes in behavior.
- Addicts would usually have very low self-esteem and are often very anxious.
- Sudden changes in the addict’s health and physical appearance could also be indicative of addictive behaviors.
If you suspect that you are addicted or know someone who might be, then you may find that confronting about the addiction is not easy. Always remember the purpose of the confrontation and reassure that your purpose is to help them get better and get healthy and that you are coming from a place of love and support.