6 Things Addicts Have in Common & How to Recognize if You Have a Problem
It doesn’t matter if you “don’t have a problem-” yet. The wee always grow large, and the ignored strike when you least expect them to. Addiction is the symptom of internal unrest- it is not the problem, the problem lies within. Addiction is the expression of this condition, but takes on life of it’s own, removed from its catalyst while intertwined in the fragility of mortality. The truth is, addiction kills. Slowly; the mind and body in equal measure.
But the source of addiction, cannot be addiction, but traits many suffer from, without even knowing they are suffering from the precursor of addiction. The disease is not limited to chemical substances. Many find solace in stress eating, binge watching, video gaming, diving into relationship after relationship, and so on.
Here are six things people with substance use disorders have in common- how many of these traits do you experience?
You might be surprised to find “addicts” are just as human as you and I.
Filling the voids life inevitably mars us with sometimes manifests itself in the solances we need least. Some escape into themselves and shut out the world, others fling themselves carelessly onto those who speak poison as virulent as your inner voice.
When hopelessness seeps into our crux of being, many will do anything to restore a semblance of the peace they once had- whether that is by means unsavory or not.
2. Inability to Control Emotions- Either You’re Completely Up or Broken
Wildly vacillating emotional extremes are common among those with substance use disorders. Often this is a function of biology- perhaps an underlying psychological disorders left undiagnosed. Other than turning to mental health as the cause, many thyroid conditions may foment this. However, more often than not we neglect our health and do not acknowledge the ultimate influence our biology has on our emotions. As a result, many seek to self-medicate these conditions; whether it’s drinking soda to combat feeling down or a lack of energy- or meth to speed away lassitude or self-defeating thoughts.
Those who act before they think are prone to harmful behavior, often succumbing and acting upon their emotional outbursts, which can harm themselves and others.
4. Lack of Self-Expression
Being stifled and unable to express yourself is one of the leading causes of substance use disorders. Without an appropriate outlet which allows you to communicate your feelings and the things you’d rather not talk about, those inner conflicts will manifest with, or without your consent. Having a glass of wine soon turns to habit- and one turns to three- four even, on a bad day.
5. Self Loathing
Those who self medicate with addictive substances often do so to numb the inner pain of genuinely despising themselves. Those actively seeking to inflict harm on themselves experience the same measure of self-odium. This may be expressed by purposefully trapping yourself in abusive relationships, self mutilation, or denying yourself what will fuill you with happiness of purpose- because you don’t believe you deserve it.
6. Fits of Hopelessness
Ultimately those who self medicate do so in an attempt to numb the cesspool of hopelessness entombing their entire being. If you’ve been on the brink and have contemplated suicide, that unique feeling of dreaded nothingness is the source of what those with substance use disorders are attempting to escape from.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.