Julia is a managing partner at a large accounting firm. She and Derek have been married for two decades, and they have three beautiful children. Julia is a familiar face in their town. She regularly volunteers at charity events and volunteers at the local schools as a math tutor. This is the Julia most people see, but Julia knows there is more to her story. For many years, Julia has hidden her alcoholism. She works hard to hide how often and how much she drinks. Julia tells herself things like… tomorrow will be different… next time I will be stronger… But the next day is not different, and addiction is not about being stronger. Julia desperately wants to stop drinking. She knows that she is putting her career, family, finances, and health in jeopardy, but addiction takes a strong hold onto people’s lives. It is an illness that can be challenging to fight, but there are treatments.
“Addiction is a hugely complex and destructive disease, and its impact can be simply devastating. All too often, lives and families can be shattered by it.”
Addictions knows no limitations. There are as many as 21 million people in the US who are fighting an addiction. It is an illness that strikes young and old, rich and poor, men and women in every race, nationality, and religion. Addiction can look like a compulsive activity—sex, Internet, gambling, video games, shopping, and more. Addiction can look like abusing a substance—prescription drugs, alcohol, opioids, cocaine, marijuana, and more.
Even though the surface issues of addiction can look different from person to person, the disease attacks individuals in the same way: by altering their brain. The behaviors or the substances of addiction often get the most attention, but addiction is fundamentally an illness about brain balance. The imbalance can be fought, and recovery from addiction often involves lifestyle changes, community support, medication and counseling.
The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Counseling in Fort Worth, TX have worked with many clients, fighting addiction and restoring balance to their brain. We understand the treatment options and work closely with each individual to find holistic and personalized treatment.
What Does an Addiction Look Like?
Addiction is an illness that takes place in the brain, but it manifests in particular attitudes and behaviors within an individual’s life. Certain actions are signs that addiction has taken hold. When these signs are present, it may be time to reach out for professional help. Early intervention is often a key to recovery. Think about what is happening in your life right now. Are any of these symptoms present?
- Escalation: As an addiction develops, the initial substance or activity will need to be escalated in order for individuals to experience the same effects. One drink will turn into two and three and four. Gambling once a month will turn into gambling once a week or once a day. One hour in front of the gaming console will turn into two and three and four. Early intervention may cutoff the escalation pattern, but without interference, addiction escalates.
- Failed Attempts to Quit: Addicts usually do not want to be addicted. They often know that their lives are in turmoil. They probably have tried to stop abusing the substance or doing the activity but without success. These attempts usually rely upon willpower, but addiction is not about choice. People do not choose to be addicted. They cannot choose their way out of addiction—they need other treatment options.
- Moodiness: People who are addicted are often easily angered and annoyed. These emotions may be a direct result of the addiction—often, anger flares when loved ones refuse to enable the addiction. If people do not have their fix, they can become irritable. This moodiness may also signal a lack of healthy coping skills.
- Deceit: Addiction and deceit are often two sides of the same coin. When there is addiction, there is almost always deceit. People may lie to protect the addiction, to hide their actions, to obtain their substance, to minimize the disease, and the list could go on and on.
- Captivated Thoughts: When addiction takes hold, it becomes the center of a person’s life. Their thoughts, their dreams, and their energy all goes toward the addiction—supporting it, hiding it, continuing it.
The effect of these symptoms can be summarized with three C’s: control, cravings, consequences. Addiction alters people’s brains so that they crave a substance or activity. Their lives become controlled by that substance or activity. They will continue the addiction despite adverse consequence they experience.
Scheduling Addiction Therapy at Thriveworks Counseling in Fort Worth, TX
Did you recognize any of addiction’s symptoms either in your own life or in the life of someone you love? If so, you are not alone. Many people are fighting, and many people are finding healing and treatment. Support is available. The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Fort Worth are ready to start a healing journey with you. When you contact our office, know that…
- A person—our scheduling specialist—will answer the phone and help you find an appointment time.
- New clients often have an appointment the following day.
- We work with many insurance companies and accept many insurance plans.
- Evening and weekend appointments are offered.
- You will never be put on a waitlist because we do not have one.
Let’s battle addiction together. Call Thriveworks Fort Worth today.