Addiction

Addiction is the physical and/or psychological dependence on a substance or behavior, such that it creates impairment in more than one area of a person's life.

Heavy use of a substance is only one aspect of addiction, and some people who are "addicted" are not daily users of a drug or compulsive behavior. 

 

To be "addicted," one must meet several aspects of the diagnostic criteria, including but not limited to:

 numerous failed attempts to quit, increased tolerance, continued use despite negative consequences, and withdrawal symptoms when the substance or behavior is stopped. 

People can have addictive and/or problematic relationships with any of the following:

1. Alcohol

2. Drugs

3. Pills/Pharmaceuticals (prescribed or not prescribed)

4. Food

5. Gambling

6. Video Games

7. Internet/Social Media

8. Pornography

9. Shopping/Spending

10. Sex

11. Love and Relationships

Below are some questions to consider when making sense of your use of a substance or behavior. 

This is not diagnostic and is not meant to treat your issue, but rather to create a framework for your use of a substance or behavior, and to potentially inform your efforts to get help for you or a loved one.

Addiction:

1. Do you often intend not to use your substance/behavior when you wake up in the morning, but by the afternoon, you have forgotten that commitment you made to yourself or just changed your mind?

2. Are others around you regularly unhappy with your choices, particularly when it comes to your use?

3. Do you frequently intend on quitting, but don't?

4. Do you feel defensive when people talk to you about your use?

5. Do your loved ones sometimes get in the way of your use?

 

6. Have you changed any of your habits or life goals in order to accommodate your use?

7. Do you spend more money on this issue than you intend to?

8. Do you feel conflicted about your use? Like a part of you wants to change, and a part of you doesn't?

9. Has your drinking or drug use caused relationship problems?

10. Do you minimize the amount of the substance you use to your loved ones, friends, or doctors?

 

 

Codependence

 

Codependence is a sense of responsibility for other people's thoughts, feelings, and actions.

 

Codependence often starts in childhood, as a way to cope with an abusive, unstable, or alcoholic parent or sibling, and when left untreated, can lead to choosing dysfunctional partners, workplaces, and friendships as an adult. 

 

People with Codependency often have problems setting limits, relaxing, feeling good about themselves, and allowing others to bear the consequences of their own actions.

Below are some questions to consider if this may be a problem for you:

Codependence:

1. Do you start the day already feeling frustrated, unable to let go of yesterday's troubles?

2. Do you often find yourself nagging a loved one, even when you don't want to?

3. Does it seem to you that, if only your loved one would quit his/her addiction, then you could be happy?

4. Do you blame others for how you feel?

5. Do you make excuses for the behavior or choices of others?

 

6. Have you lost time at work or important activities because of another person's problems or dramas?

7. Do you feel guilty when other people feel angry, sad, or afraid?

8. Do you sometimes feel taken advantage of?   

 

9. Do you have a hard time saying no?

 

10. Have you ever lost your own sense of yourself while in a relationship or friendship?   

 

11. Do you do for others what they can do for themselves because you fear what will happen if you don't?

                 

12. Do you get in the way of bad things happening to other people, such as going to jail or getting a bad grade in school, even if that would be the natural consequence?