The warning signs of addiction can often go unrecognized – from changes to daily routine, to changes in personality, leading to a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation. Going unrecognized and untreated for a long time addictions can lead to some of the most disabling mental and physical conditions.
Addictions can be dependence on a substance that triggers certain behaviour or be a behavioural addiction. Examples of behavioural addictions may include: risky or defiant acting out, stealing, lying, or speeding, self-harm, disordered eating, excessive exercise, video gaming, gambling, shopping, internet and social media use etc. Substance addiction and behavioural addictions are often interconnected.
Anything that triggers the reward pathway in the brain has the potential to become addicting. In addition, struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental disorders creates a higher risk for substance use or other behavioural addictions.
Talking to a therapist can help you identify the triggers or warning signs of addiction. It could be your first step on the way to recovery, providing a safe personalized environment and support.