What is Addiction?
Addiction is a unique force, one not to be trifled. It comes in many forms, and it does not discriminate.
Unfortunately, the only defense against the plague of addiction is education, understanding what makes you vulnerable, and practicing ways to stay away from negative influence.
People who are affected by addiction did not ask for it. Addictive substances (drugs and alcohol) and behaviors (gambling, eating, shopping, etc.) trick those afflicted with addiction into believing that they will feel better if they do them, when in reality, it is just an illusion of bliss for a brief time.
What is the definition of addiction?
For us, addiction is when the desire for a substance is so strong that harmful consequences are ignored in order to attain a specific state of euphoria.
Some have the perception this only includes drugs and alcohol, but addiction can manifest in more forms than we are aware, including but not limited to gambling, spending money, and gaming. More manifestations of addiction are being researched constantly to keep up with new and rising cultural trends.
What preventative actions can I take?
The reason doctors say preventative medicine is the best medicine is because taking action before symptoms arise can prevent a life-changing diagnosis.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Manic behaviors and mood swings
- Anxiety and bouts of depression
- Lack of responsibility with finances or other obligations
- Erratic or increased substance intake
- Reliance on a substance or behavior as if it is the only thing you can do to achieve happiness
Another way to practice self-care and self-love to prevent addictive behaviors is understanding the difference between abuse and addiction. Realizing the transitional period between the two can spark a light, like an alarm system, to make sure you don’t go over the edge.
Here are some key differences demonstrated in those with addictions as opposed to those who abuse:
- The addictive substance you use does not provide the same high due to a built-up tolerance
- Propensity for diseases increases, such as liver or kidney disease
- People who are addicted suffer from withdrawal symptoms
How can we move forward with grace?
The quintessential takeaway you should have from this article is this: you are not your addiction, and there is help available.
Not only are you not alone in this fight, there is also no shame in taking the right direction in life.
If you feel burdened by potential or certain addiction, just know these things for added assurance and help:
- Understand there are certain environmental and genetic factors that may make you predisposed to addiction. Understand your own health as a means to preventing unhealthful behaviors.
- The earlier you take action, the better.
- If you are suffering from addiction, you are not more or less of a person than someone who isn’t suffering.
- Addiction does not only affect you—it affects everything and everyone around you.
- There is not only one method of treatment. There are numerous kinds, tailored for you and your needs.
- Healing can and will happen.
Treatment programs exist for all individuals, no matter the severity of one’s struggle, and we are happy to guide all humans every single day to a life of contentment and joy.
Addiction is more complicated than we can describe in such a blog post. But, let this be a springboard into further research with us or other reliable resources to help you understand what millions are struggling with daily.