How long can you go without using your phone, drinking alcohol, smoking anything, or popping pills inappropriately? If you can’t last a day, a week, or more without an activity or substance, you may be addicted.

Addiction is a behavior that interferes with ordinary life responsibilities such as work, relationships, or health. It can be consumption of alcohol, nicotine, any illegal substance, or the inappropriate use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as well as physical activities such as sex, gambling, or shopping.

Addiction results in an inability to limit use of a substance or activity. Attempts to do so produces symptoms of withdrawal, such as irritability, anxiety, shakes, or nausea.

Addiction can result in a tolerance to a substance, an overreaction by the brain, or compulsion, usually due to emotional stress. It is not based on pleasure or has anything to do with morality or character.

Cell phones can be the road to several addictions. It is an extraordinary tool, but as so many good things, the more they offer, the more they can get us into trouble. Not only is addiction to our cell phones rapidly growing, they can promote other addictions such as texting, impulse buying, and gaming and gambling.

When an addiction takes hold, it owns us. Relationships, work, and our mental, physical, and emotional health suffers. Nor does it make us feel good about ourselves as it induces feelings of shame, guilt, a sense of hopelessness, and feelings of failure.

If a loved one asks you to eliminate the use of something, it’s likely they identify a problem you cannot see. Please call a hotline in your area. You are so much more than that substance or activity.

(Information from Psychology Today)

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

 

 

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