How Do I know I Have Addiction?

Read Transcript

Hi this is Dr. Judi Hollis and thanks for asking, how do I know if I have an addiction? This is an age old question and many people spend their whole lives asking it and never stopping the behavior to get some help for themselves. The simplest definition I have for addiction is, if I don't have it I feel bad and when I have it I don't feel good.

It's quite simple and actually very profound. When do we cross that imaginary line from being a problem drinker or a problem eater to being a full blown addict where it has the best of us? One thing we often say in addiction is we ask the question when does the cucumber soaked in brine become a pickle? How does that subtle change happen that one day I was a cucumber and the next day I am pickles? none of us knows when that happened for us but what we do know is once we become a pickle we can never go back so a pickle cannot change into a cucumber.

I suggest anybody whose having a struggle in this area, to give themselves about, a month, of not having the substance. And see what happens in their lives. In most addiction treatment, we ask the person to look at, what are the effects in your life? In either romance or finance, in relationships or work, or physically are you having negative results of this behavior? And the thing that an addict does, If an addict tries to quit, an addict tries to modify their behavior.

When the American Medical Association first declared alcoholism a disease one of the most important criteria was a person who was trying to quit. A regular person who has problems with a substance just quits, but an alcoholic tries to quit. So this is a very telling sign. Again the most important thing I want to tell you is, just think when I have it don't feel good but when I don't have it I feel bad.