Admitting you have an addiction is the final step towards getting treatment for your problem. Sometimes the person with the addiction is the last to know. According to an article from author Barb Rogers on The Huffington Post, here are seven signs you can look for to determine if you have an addiction:
People who don't have an addiction problem don't wonder if they have a problem. It's simply not something they think about because they don't need to. The mind is funny in that way... If it is haunting you with questions such as "What am I doing," "Why do I keep doing it," and "Why can't I stop," take note. Your problem may have crossed that line into addiction.
When others touch on the topic, do you feel your hackles rise, and do you instantly defend yourself with statements like: "It's not a problem for me, "If other people don't understand, it's their problem," "I can stop doing it anytime I want to," or "I'm not hurting anyone but myself?" But, in your inner core, do you know these things aren't true?
Placing blame for your behavior on others or a situation is an old ploy of addicts that keeps them from taking responsibility for their choices.
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4) Secrets and lies
Often, addicts are the only ones who think their addiction is a secret. They believe the lies are hiding the secret, but those close to them have noticed... If addicts know that others know, but they continue to tell lies, then the only ones they're fooling is themselves.
5) Time and effort
The time addicts put into the behavior, and into finding ways to stop doing it, takes away from other parts of their lives.
6) Guilt and shame
How you feel about your behavior should be a clear indication about whether or not it's a problem. If you feel guilt and shame, but you can't seem to stop what you're doing, then the problem has become an addiction.
Convincing yourself that no one loves you, others don't understand, or you don't fit into the world around you to justify your behavior may convince you that you are protecting yourself from more pain and disappointment, but it will leave you feeling alone and empty. Telling yourself you are different and can handle things that others are not able to handle will only prolong the problem and escalate the possibility of serious addiction.
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Rogers, the author of "If I Die Before I Wake: A Memoir of Drinking and Recovery," wrote that people who are addicted should not despair -- help is available:
It doesn't matter whether it's alcohol or shopping, drugs or clutter, eating or not eating, gambling or infidelity -- if it's causing problems, and you can't quit even though you want to, then it is an addiction. The good news is that there is help ranging from treatment centers and anonymous meetings to individual therapy. Very few addicts find successful, long-term recovery without a support system.
To read more, go to MyAddiction.com