How Do I Know If I Have an Addiction?

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Hi, this is Dr. Juddy Holis, 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 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 that we ask the question when does a cucumber soaked in brine become a pickle? How does that salt change happen that one day I was a cucumber, and the next day I am pickle.

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 who's having a struggle in this area, to give themselves about a month of not having the substance, and see what happens in their lives.

Now in most addiction treatments, we ask the person to look at, what are the effects in your live, and either romance or finance, then your 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, and 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 has tried to quit. A regular person who has problems with the substance just quits, but an alcoholic tries to quit. So this is a telling sign. Again, the most important thing I want to tell you is just think, when I have it, I don't feel good, and when I don't have it, I feel bad.