While most people would claim to have a basic understanding of what addiction is, actually drawing the line is a different matter entirely. Specifically, when and where any given behaviour or habit reach of such a point that the services of an addiction counsellor in Canterbury are called for.
One of the biggest problems with addiction is the way in which in most instances, it doesn’t simply happen overnight. Quite to the contrary, addicts for the most part slowly but surely fall into the kinds of habits and lifestyles that eventually become detrimental and dangerous. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to know where to draw the line between potentially problematic behaviour and outright addiction.
As is often said, admitting you have a problem in the first place is the most important step in the recovery process. Nevertheless, it is also the most difficult.
So with this in mind, the following six warning signs should be taken seriously by anyone who may suspect that their own behaviour or habits have crossed the line into addiction:
1. When your behaviour is affecting your health
First of all, if your current habits are having a detrimental effect on your health, there’s every chance you could benefit from addiction counselling. In this instance, the line is drawn when and where an individual continues to do something, despite being fully aware that it is damaging their health. When you find yourself in a position where you are unable to stop doing something despite wanting to, this represents a classic sign of addiction. After all, if addiction wasn’t a problem, you would easily be able to stop doing whatever it is that’s harming your health.
2. When your behaviour is affecting your family
In many instances, it is the friends and family members of those affected who first highlight the problem. The reason being that as they themselves are not indulging in the same behaviours, they already much clearer and more grounded position to make assessments. Nevertheless, the individual in question may find it difficult or impossible to believe anything is wrong. That, or they may be in a state of denial about the whole thing. Nevertheless, if you are fully aware of the fact that your habits are affecting your family and yet you cannot or will not do anything about it, there’s a strong chance you may be battling a dangerous addiction.
3. When your behaviour is affecting your professional life
It’s also the same in the workplace, as it could be that your colleagues or employer have brought up the subject of your performance and behaviour in general. From alcohol to drugs to gambling and many other addictions besides, it can be difficult or impossible to perform adequately in a professional capacity while battling an addiction. Once again therefore, if it is clear that your habits are affecting your professional life and you are struggling to do anything to make amends, addiction counselling could help.
4. When your behaviour is causing financial problems
One of the most typical warning signs of addiction is when the individual in question begins spending money they simply do not have, in order to continue funding their habit. Regardless of what the addiction is – gambling, shopping, drugs etc. – the moment you begin spending money you cannot afford to spend is the moment you essentially admin you have lost control. The problem in this instance being that the longer you wait to seek advice and support, the more damage you are likely to do to yourself and those around you.
5. When your behaviour is no longer within your control
It could also simply be that whatever it is you are doing has become more habitual and something you are in control of. Addiction is often characterised as any given activity or behaviour, which despite bringing the individual no real pleasure is something they continue to do instinctively. This confirms that you have lost control over whatever it is you are doing, therefore confirming addiction.
6. When your behaviour makes you unhappy
Last but not least, if you have tried unsuccessfully to stop or cut down any behaviour or activity that is making you unhappy, you may want to speak to an addiction counsellor as soon as possible. As already touched upon, doing something that makes you happy habitually and being unable to stop despite having tried really is the dictionary definition of addiction. At the sooner you bring your problem to the attention of the professionals, the quicker and easier it will be to deal with.