Working to prevent addiction can feel like an uphill battle, an impossible undertaking. We can feel like we’re up against an indestructible and formidable force that we have no hope of conquering. An important step we can take in preventing addiction in ourselves, in our loved ones and in the people we work with is to learn the signs of addiction. The warning signs of addiction can often mirror and parallel the signs of mental illness. Since addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, learning more about the warning signs for both can help us respond to a crisis more quickly and get the help and support that are so urgently needed.
A common sign that an addiction is developing is experiencing increased depression and anxiety. We feel sad and hopeless more of the time. We might be increasingly more worried and stressed. We might be more reactive and experience drastic mood swings and unpredictable changes in our emotions. We might start feeling things we can’t explain and don’t understand. We lose interest in doing the things we once loved to do. We neglect our passions and interests. We isolate ourselves and avoid interaction. We might feel more fatigued and can find ourselves feeling exhausted even without expending much energy. Getting out of bed in the morning can feel impossibly difficult when we’re filled with fear and sadness. We might struggle to get to sleep and suffer from insomnia. We might lose our appetite and stop eating, or start binge eating as an anxious compulsion.
An obvious sign of addiction is an inability to monitor and control our use of a substance or our engagement in a certain behavior. We might see other people being able to drink in moderation, for example, whereas we always seem to overdo it. We might feel as though we can’t stop ourselves, no matter how unhealthy or dangerous we know it to be. We can feel as though we’re losing our sense of self and our ability to live our lives normally.
Learning the signs of addiction can help us to recognize when we are headed down a dangerous path, and can help alert us to the fact that we need help. When we know the signs, we’re more likely to seek out resources and reach out for support.
At Enlightened Solutions, we are a community of people with firsthand, personal experience with addiction and recovery. We have helped countless people heal, and we can help you too. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.