Daniel Linder, MFT
Warning signs of addiction
What are some warning signs of addiction? To determine that there’s an addiction going on as opposed to use for recreational or entertainment purposes, or a controlled, experimental experience with addiction, we look for a loss of control. An addicted person is going to be using more or getting more involved than they had planned to and is not going to realize how involved they have become.
Alteration of Behavior
Also, people who are addicted behave in a way that’s uncharacteristic to who they are. In other words, if they weren’t having the addiction, if they weren’t involved in that substance, they would not behave that way. They would behave differently when they are their normal sober self.
We also look for problems in the person’s life that show up in all facets of their life, whether it’s in their family, relationship, health, legal problems, work, or themselves. Everything just deteriorates over time. It’s progressive.
There is also denial. Wherever there’s a dependency, there’s denial, and denial serves to preserve the dependency and eliminate all conflicts of interest. And it does just that; it works in a multitude of ways. Denial is one of the ways your perceptions and thoughts are distorted and denied and repressed, and you don’t know that they are. You have no awareness that your perceptions are distorted.
There will also be delusions. An addict will have certain ideas and/or rationalizations of their behavior and what the addiction is all about and how involved they are. They will have delusions about it all. They won’t be able to see it accurately or realistically.
And finally, there’s deception. There’s self deception as well as deception of others. As a result, people who are having secret love affairs are lying to other people and living a life that revolves around deception, their own deception as well as that of others. They don’t know the extent to which they’re involved, and their ability to accurately and realistically assess their level of involvement is sorely impaired.
Relationship Expert Bullet Points
- Addicts have a lack of control over their behavior.
- Addicts behave differently than they would if they were not suffering from addiction.
- Addicts will deny that they have a problem.
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