The word “addiction” conjures up images of drug taking yet, studies show around a third of us are hooked on something. Are you leaning on something too hard?
It might be cigarettes or alcohol but it could just as easily be gaming, gambling or over-working. Is there something you’ve come to rely on that makes you feel good…or used to?
The weird thing is, habits trigger chemical changes in the brain so even if you’re not putting a substance into your body, you can be getting addicted to a repeat behaviour.
Even with these, highs released by the brain lead to lows and the regret that follows.
So, how do you know if you’re addicted?
Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. Does that sound like you?
Addiction is anything that dominates your thinking. Do you get stressed or angry when you can’t feed this habit?
The more often you find yourself doing it or thinking about doing it, the more likely you have addiction and should seek help.
Addiction changes how you feel while you’re using it. This is more obvious with things like alcohol, nicotine and other drugs in cases where they’re taken to chemically alter your physical brain and alter your perception.
By changing your brain it changes how you see the world. Many addicts find that they need the thing they’re addicted to, to celebrate or fully enjoy something.
Do you seek out your habit, even when you’re really sick or feeling low? Many people use their addiction to medicate against depression, stress and loneliness or to calm themselves down.
It’s not healthy or a permanent cure, of course, and your addiction won’t just be harming you, it will be affecting your relationships too.
Like the rest of us, clients sometimes find themselves suffering with addictions. Some turn to certain substances or activities as a way to deal with the stress of their debt and, in most cases, their debt is made worse. This is why our charity began CAP Release Groups to help people who know it’s time to stop.
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