Addictions are not just to drugs and alcohol but there are also behavioural addictions. Addictions involved psychological and physical processes. Every addiction experience is different signs will vary so will the behaviours.
Difference between signs and symptoms:
Symptoms are experienced solely by the person affected where as the signs are observed by everyone else around them. You don’t always wait and reply on the signs of an addiction as sometimes they are kept private or don’t happen right at the start of the addition.
There are the top 10 signs and symptoms that are more common than others and they include:
- Changes in socialisation they may be isolating themselves or becoming more social than normal
- Becoming secretive
- Stealing money or goods to sell for money : this occurs more so for drug and alcohol addictions
- Drug paraphernalia
- Withdrawals: this happens when addicts cannot get the substance or engage in the behaviour they are addicted to
- Difficulty controlling their behaviour
- The person becoming more preoccupied with their addiction making it their only priority.
- Becomes very protective and angry when confronted about their sudden change in behaviour
- Other changes such as mood swings, changes in energy levels, weight loss or gain, sleeping a lot more or less
Confronting someone with or without an addiction can cause trouble. You cannot think because that person is a little secretive they have an addiction when they may be simply organising you a surprise birthday behaviour.
Mood swings are the same can be caused by a deficiency, puberty or health related issues. It is best to monitor someone’s behaviour first before just ticking a few boxes off from above and accusing someone of an addiction.
There are helplines out there you can call with your concerns and they will give you the best advice on what to do next.
Unless you have found drug related items or have clear evidence you cannot just accuse someone of having an addiction. Some behaviour addictions can be misdiagnosed for someone going through extreme stress due to exams or a sudden loss in the family. Many parents see their teenagers behaviours and mistake it for an addiction when it is just normal teenager behaviours and will soon change once they get older.
However teenagers are more prone to addictions due to being under severe stress, problems at home or school and peer pressure. Be sure to monitor signs and changes and speak to your doctor to get an idea about whether they may be normal hormonal problems or something more. Most addicts wont openly tell you they have an addiction but are more likely to become defensive and aggressive and deny everything you are saying.
If you find drugs in their bag they will protest the most common excuse that the drugs aren’t theirs and they don’t know how they got there. Be sure to approach with caution when you suspect there may be an addiction going on.
Addiction can be sad for all involved sufferers and their loved ones around them so be sure to offer support and help when you first spot the signs of an addiction.
That goes for sufferers to if you feel you have an addiction seek help before it becomes a lot harder to deal with and to treat.