(Relationship, Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, Internet)
Addictions present some common and some unique characteristics and behaviors across the board, depending upon the behaviors and / or substances associated with the addiction. Let’s take a look at some common symptoms or traits and a little about how to begin getting help for the more common addictions or dominating dependencies today.
Odors associated with the substances like cigarette or marijuana smoke are fairly noticeable traits. Here are some maybe not so obvious:
Wearing long sleeves (to cover needle marks) during hot weather
Hanging out with known addicts
Thoughts, actions – nearly everything- - focused on addiction
Nasal congestion (sniffing, nose bleeds…), eye changes (redness, glassy, wears sunglasses when not needed, etc…)
Behavioral changes (moodiness, mood swings with hyperactive, lethargy, violence, paranoia, secretive, confused thoughts and actions)
Denial of use, addiction, etc.
Memory loss, distorted time
Stealing or excessive / unusual borrowing of funds
Unkempt appearance, truant / absenteeism from work, school, home…
Sudden changes in school work and grades, job performance, regular behavior
Withdrawal from normal activities, friends, family
Withdrawal symptoms: nausea, sweating, chills, convulsions, anxiety, nervousness, depression, headaches, hallucinations, diarrhea, restlessness / sleep disturbances, shaking (uncontrolled), sensitivity.
Now for a look at how to begin getting help for the more dominating dependencies today.
One major addiction facing many people because of the nature of its definition is relationship addiction or co-dependency. It is a learned dependent behavioral condition, generally with the existence of emotional, physical and / or sexual abuse, that affects people with or related (not necessarily “blood related” but environmentally or socially) to those having alcohol or drug, gambling, sex, food, work or other dependencies, or the mentally ill. This unhealthy condition is learned from the abusers’ relationships and affects a person’s ability to have a healthy relationship. Co-dependent is associated with “dysfunctional family” members or those feeling anger, shame, fear or pain mainly because of the addiction that is “unspoken” or discussed. The person or persons addicted are in denial and don’t admit their dependencies or problems surrounding them. And those in relationships with them adapt this type behavior as well, keeping the “status quo” at an even keel to avoid confrontational issues and rock the boat.
Co-dependent people repress their emotions and ignore their own needs while being compulsive caretakers for the addicts. And as a result they become “survivors.” To help keep addictions hidden, they distance themselves from the addict as well as the problems associated with the addiction, and certain behaviors develop over time.