How Do I Know I’m an Addict?

A patient keeps insisting, “I’m not an addict, please. Others are worse.” Such words of denial are typical and predictable from those who are actually addicted to some drug-of-choice (eg. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, money, rage etc).

How do I know whether I’m an addict or not? Here are some clinical and experiential symptoms of one sick of life-damaging addictions:

1. A pattern of out-of-control behavior;
2. Severe consequences due to behavior;
3. Inability to stop despite adverse circumstances:
4. Persistent pursuit of self destructive or high risk behavior;
5. Ongoing desire or effort to limit drugs of choice;
6. Fantasy or obsession on drug of choice as a primary coping strategy;
7. Increasing amounts of dosage of drug of choice (alcohol, sex, money, chemicals etc) because current level of activity is no longer sufficient;
8. Severe mood changes around drug of choice;
9. Inordinate amounts of time spent in obtaining drug of choice;
10. Neglect of important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of drug of choice

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