Addiction Therapy and Counseling in Harrisburg, PA
Everyone knew Steve was a loving father, a devoted husband, and a successful business owner. No one knew he was also an addict. With the shame and guilt he felt about this disease, Steve hid. The addiction lured him into isolation where it could grow, and grow it did. When he hit rock bottom, Steve barely had control of his own life. He had always told himself—if he just made different choices, if he just had more self-control, if he only had more willpower. However, Steve learned that those were just more lies that the addiction had promised but failed to deliver upon. Thankfully, he reached out for help. Through therapy, Steve learned about the disease of addiction. He learned that he needs more than willpower to fight this disease. Steve working with mental health professionals to build into his life the treatment that he needs.
“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
Addiction is often associated with a substance that is abused (alcohol, opioids, cocaine, prescription drugs, marijuana) or an activity that is compulsive (gambling, sex, Internet, video games, shopping). These are the surface manifestations of a deeper disease—a change in people’s brains that forms an attachment to an activity or a substance. That attachment promises love and healing, but it will never deliver on its promises. Instead, addiction traps people in more pain and destruction.
Thriveworks Harrisburg offers therapy for addiction because we know that people cannot choose their way out of addiction—they need deeper, more holistic treatment as well as support. While working with our therapists and counselors, many people have found the resources they need to reclaim their lives and live in sobriety.
Addiction’s Signs and Symptoms
Addiction changes an individual’s brain so that they experience greater and greater pleasure rewards for using a certain substance or engaging in a certain activity. These changes in the brain manifest in people’s lives in emotional, physical, and behavioral ways that may include…
Physical Red Flags for Addiction
- Being hyperactive or lethargic (depending upon the drug)
- Repetitive speech
- Red eyes, dilated pupils
- Excessive sniffing while not ill
- Being undernourished or pale
- Weight loss
- Body odor that is unpleasant or different
Behavioral Red Flags for Addiction
- Difficulty in school
- Missed work/school/personal engagements
- Isolating oneself
- Keeping secrets
- Relationship problems
- Financial problems (particularly, needing money)
- Lying to loved ones (especially to cover the addiction)
Emotional Red Flags for Addiction
- Being unable to handle stress
- Loss of interest in people/activities that were once valued
- Obnoxious, silly, easily confused
- Lack of awareness about the problem: denial, rationalizations, minimizations, blame, diversions
When people have an addiction, they often risk their own well-being or the well-being of their loved ones in order to protect the addiction. Therapists can speak of the three C’s of addiction: control, craving, and consequences. Addicts lose control over the frequency and amount of their use. They crave the action or substance and use it compulsively. Addicts will continue with the addiction despite negative consequences they may experience.
Addiction’s Risk Factors
Addiction is a common illness—21 million Americans suffer with addiction each year. Some people are more at risk than others for addiction. Family history of addiction can raise an individual’s risk. Genetics play a big role. Circumstances can also raise a person’s risk. In particular, peer pressure often introduces people to the substance or activity that escalates into an addiction. Also, emotional numbing can also escalate.
“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
Peer pressure: Many teens are first introduced to the substances that entrap them in addiction through a friend. It may be at a party or in a low-key setting, but in either case, something that starts innocently enough can explode into an addiction. Adults are susceptible as well.
Emotional Numbing: The pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment can leave people searching for healing. Addiction lies to people—promising that the fear, shame, boredom, anger, loneliness, and guilt will go away. Addiction, however, only heightens these difficulties.
Scheduling an Appointment for Addiction at Thriveworks Harrisburg
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, Thriveworks Harrisburg would like you to know:
- Addiction is not a choice—it is an illness, and there are treatments for it.
- Addiction is not weakness—many addicts are strong and courageous people.
- Addiction is not rare—many people struggle. You are not alone.
If you recognized any signs of symptoms that you read about on this page, know that help is available. We want to work with you. If you are ready to start treatment for addiction, consider working with Thriveworks Harrisburg. When you contact our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. You will reach our scheduling specialist—not a voicemail—who will help you make an appointment. Our therapists are credentialed on many insurance panels—that means we might take your insurance. We also offer evening and weekend appointments, but we do not keep a waitlist.
Let’s fight addiction together. You are not alone. Call Thriveworks Harrisburg today.