Addiction is any repeated behavior, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life and the lives of others.
Compulsive engagement with the behavior, and preoccupation with it;
Impaired control over the behavior;
Persistence or relapse, despite evidence of harm;
Dissatisfaction, irritability or intense craving when the object – be it a drug, activity, or other goals – is not immediately available.
The hallmarks of any addiction are: compulsion, impaired control, persistence, irritability, relapse and craving.
How does the addict know she has impaired control?
Because they don’t stop the behavior in spite of all its effects. All addictions, substance-related or not, share states of mind such as craving, shame, and behaviors, such as deception, manipulation, and relapse.
Some of the symptoms of addiction are:
Feelings of anxiety, irritability or depression
Trouble thinking clearly
Problems with relationships
Spending money on substances rather than of food, rent or other essentials
Loss of hope
Feelings of emptiness
How Therapy Can Help
Recovery involves ongoing treatment with a Psychotherapist, learning healthier coping strategies, and making better decisions dealing with life’s challenges. In order to stay clean/sober, dealing with the underlying problems that led to your substance use is essential.