Although we might typically think of depression or bipolar disorder as examples of mental illness, addiction is also an illness of the mind. More accurately, it’s an illness of the brain. However, addiction is now being seen as a mental illness and not as a personality flaw or as someone’s need for religion.
There are some very clear markers that point to the fact that someone might be struggling with an addiction. Just as when someone has symptoms of a physical illness, such as having a fever with the flu, the same is true with addiction. The following are signs of an addiction:
You’re neglecting your responsibilities. We all have responsibilities at school, work, or at home. When the need to drink or use drugs becomes strong, those responsibilities get pushed to the side and frequently neglected. You might begin to neglect your children, call in sick a lot, or let the cleanliness of the house go. What we need to do in life becomes second to drugs or drinking.
Your use of drugs or alcohol is leading to legal concerns. Frequent drugs use might lead to driving under the influence and be arrested for it. Or you might get arrested for disorderly conduct or for stealing in order to support your substance use.
Your use of drugs and alcohol is affecting your relationships. When there is consistent use of drugs and alcohol and if you’re frequently getting high, then it’s going to be hard to relate to others in a meaningful way.
You’re building a tolerance to the drug or to alcohol. Tolerance indicates that you need more of the drug to get the same high.
You’re taking other drugs to avoid having withdrawal symptoms. If you don’t have time to use drugs or drink during the day because of work, for example, then taking another drug might hold you over until you can have a drink. This is a good indication that you’ve become addicted.
You’re losing any sort of control over when you drink or use. Telling yourself you’re not going to drink tonight, but you end up doing it anyway is another indication of addiction. You may want to stop using drugs or drinking entirely but you just can’t seem to stop no matter how hard you try.
Your life revolves around using drugs or drinking. You’re thinking, dreaming, fantasizing, and looking forward to your next drink or high when you’re not using.
You’re no longer doing activities you love. The fact that you’re always thinking and dreaming about drinking or getting high, you’re probably no longer doing the things you enjoy. Instead, you’re either getting high or thinking about getting high. Addiction becomes the center of your life.
You keep using drugs or drinking even though you know it’s hurting you. There’s a clear indication that you might have an addiction when you keep using despite the consequences that using drugs and/or drinking brings.
These are all very clear signs of addiction. If you recognize some of the above signs in yourself or someone you know, contact a mental health professional today.
Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
Very useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care
for such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time.
Thank you and good luck.
I am trying to help my 30 year old son. He does have PTSD due to severe bullying throughout all of his school years. We just have know for the last 5 years. We just don’t know if going to a 21-28 day dual diagnosis treatment center is the right for him. Needless to say this problem is a 13 year issue. He keeps trying but continuously relapsing. He has detoxes on his own but, I’m having a very difficult time trying to get him the proper help. He and myself want this treated properly. He gets panic stricken when he does outpatient rehab programs. He’s done it for 4 years with no success. Any advise would be highly appreciated. We are desperate and don’t have much money to do many of the options I’m reading about.
Thank for any help you can offer us.
an analogy of the mind and spirit 12 steps and connection with a power is the answer to our mental illness of addiction