Facts About Addiction
Take a random poll: Ask people to describe “an addict.” Most will describe the classic alcoholic or drug addict stereotype: Unkempt, bloodshot eyes, unshaven, odoriferous, poor health and living out on the streets.
While alcoholism and drug addiction are very prevalent, there are numerous addictive behaviors that draw far less attention, but are equally, or even more, destructive. They include addiction to sex, food, spending, the Internet and gambling, to name a few.
Addiction can strike anyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion or socioeconomic status. We are ALL potential addicts.
What defines addiction and distinguishes it from non-addictive behavior? Consider the following:
All addictive behaviors create an illusionary pleasurable experience that temporarily distracts from life’s authentic painful experiences. These behaviors continue to increase and intensify until they cause severe and significant negative consequences. Even then, the addictive behaviors continue.
In other words, these people do whatever they need to do to avoid pain, and they do whatever they can to replace it with pleasure. But the temporary measures measures only make the pain worse.
The “pain” may be physical, but is more likely to be emotional, such as loneliness, sadness, depression or fear.
Consequences can be physical impairment, relational distress, poor work performance, loss of employment, and extreme financial hardship.
If you or someone you know are struggling with possible addiction, I’d like to listen to your concerns. Call me for an initial consultation.
Dealing with addiction is hard and reaching out to talk is the best next step to feeling better.