Addictions are an abnormal dependency. People who have addictions lose control. Addictions can be physical, psychological or both. Some of the most common addictions include drugs, alcohol, cigarette smoking, food, gambling, or sex. All of these addictions share two common characteristics – one, they are dysfunctional. They are counterproductive to leading a healthy, functional life. Two, they are persistent – the person will continue to engage in these behaviors despite their destructive outcomes. When addictions get out of control, they can result in lost jobs, financial means, and relationships, as well as the destruction of good health.
Warning signs of an addiction vary; here are some symptoms to consider:
- Removal from once enjoyed social activities and relationships
- Tolerance – the person needs to repeat the behavior more and more often to achieve the desired results
- Withdrawal; the person experience negative side effects when they discontinue the behavior
- Keeping secrets from loved ones
- Bad grades in school or too many absences from school or work
- A new group of friends who are unusual or out of character
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Theft or other criminal activities
- Mood swings
- Drug paraphernalia
- Weight loss or gain and changes in eating patterns
- Financial unpredictability
Realizing that you have a problem is the first step to helping yourself break free of an addiction. Many people think they can beat addictions on their own, but that often doesn’t work. It’s important to find someone you trust and are able to talk freely with. If you don’t have any close friends or family members to help you through this process, consult a professional, such as a doctor, or a counselor or religious leader who may be able to point you in the right direction. With determination, the proper tools, and a good support group, recovery from addition IS possible. FITTODO provides information about common addictions and what can be done about them.