J. D. Vance’s best-selling memoir narrates his life, growing up in Ohio with many challenges—one of which was a mother who was addicted to opioids. J. D.’s mother grew up in a home with violence and emotional abuse. Like many addicts, childhood trauma was a contributing factor to the disease. Also like many addicts, J. D.’s life was greatly and adversely affected by his mother’s addiction, to the point where he too experienced similar violence and emotional abuse that his mother did. Addiction is an illness that requires significant intervention and support. Like other diseases, addiction is not about making a different choice or being a stronger person—it is about treating a chemical imbalance in an individual’s brain. Treatment is available, but it often requires a lot of work, courage to face the seriousness of addiction, and help from a mental health professional. With treatment, many addicts are able to take back control and focus their lives upon their dreams—not the addiction.
“I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: ‘Wait a minute –
if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?’
And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.”
― Craig Ferguson
The manifestations of addiction can vary greatly. The surface behavior of an addiction could be substance abuse: cocaine, alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, and more. The surface behavior of an addiction could also be a compulsive activity: shopping, sex, video games, Internet, and more. Regardless of what the manifestation is, the root issue is the same: addiction alters people’s brains so that they feel a reward from the addiction. The more they use, the more the addiction connects itself to the individual until individuals lose control over their cravings. Addiction comes with a host of false promises—love and acceptance and healing, but it often delivers destruction. Early recognition and intervention is key for treatment, but recovering is possible.
No one should have to fight an addiction alone. Thriveworks Columbus offers therapy for addiction, and our counselors and therapists have helped many clients find the right path toward healing. Our desire is to provide our clients with holistic treatment and support.
Emotional, Behavioral, and Physical Red Flags for Addiction
When an individual’s brain is altered by addiction, what are the results? How does a change in the brain affect real-life relationships? The effects of addiction within an individual’s life and within their loved one’s lives can be devastating. Addiction can rob people’s finances, health, relationships, and even their life. Here are a few red-flags. If you recognize any of these within your own life or within the life of someone you love, it may be time to seek out the help of a mental health professional.
Emotional Symptoms of Addiction
- Loss of interest in people/activities that were once valued.
- An inability to handle stress or challenges in life.
- Lacking awareness about one’s behavior: denial, minimizations, blame, rationalizations, diversions.
- Being obnoxious, silly, or easily confused.
Behavioral Symptoms of Addiction
- Hiding and keeping secrets.
- Regularly missing school or work or personal engagements.
- Work or school challenges—low grades, poor review, or being fired.
- Lying to hide one’s behavior (especially to loved ones).
- Disconnecting from relationships and activities—isolating oneself.
- Relational problems—fighting, tension, strain, worry, and more.
- Financial difficulties (especially needing money).
Physical Symptoms of Addiction
- Being undernourished or pale.
- Being hyperactive or lethargic (depending upon the drug).
- Repetitive speech.
- Weight loss.
- Excessive sniffing while not ill.
- Body odor that is unpleasant or different.
- Red eyes, dilated pupils.
From this list, it is easy to see how addiction can harm both the addict and their loved ones. When the warning signs of addiction begin to show, it is often of utmost importance to seek help early. Often, addicts talk about reaching out for help when they hit rock bottom. That is, addiction may take their family, their finances, their career, and their health before they seek help. However, it does not have to be this way. Healing can be sought at any stage of addiction. In many cases, the sooner addicts begin treatment, the better.
Addiction Counseling at Thriveworks Columbus: Setting Up an Appointment
Up to 21 million people in the United States are fighting an addiction right now. If you are one of those, know that you are not alone. Thriveworks Columbus also wants you to know that…
- This addiction was not your choice—We know that you did not choose to become addicted, just like no one chooses to have cancer. Addiction is an illness that needs treatment, not a bad choice that needs willpower.
- You are strong—Addiction strikes all different kinds of people—young and old, poor and rich, women and men in every race and religion. This illness has nothing to do with being weak or strong. People with addiction need treatment, not blame and shame.
“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress.
It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.”
– Alice Miller
If you are ready for treatment, Thriveworks Columbus is ready to help. We accept many forms of insurance. New clients often have an initial appointment within 24 hours of their call, and we offer evening and weekend sessions. Let’s fight addiction together. Call Thriveworks Columbus today.