In his wildly popular memoir, J. D. Vance chronicles what it was like to grow up in Ohio with a number of challenges. Vance’s experiences are unique—they are his. They also represent a peek into an experience that many can understand: growing up in a home with an addicted parent. Over 20 million people in America are battling an addiction, and the battle involves both them and their loved ones. Like Vance’s mother experienced, many of those addicts experience severe childhood abuse and trauma. Like Vance’s experience, many of those addicts and their family struggle to find the support and healing they need. In the end, Vance had to live with his grandmother to find a safe place to grow up. The resources and support it takes to treat addiction is enormous, but addiction is a disease that has effective treatments. Many people are reaching out and finding the support they need to heal.
“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
In some ways, addiction is a very personal disease and can look differently in each individual. Addiction, on the outside, can look like abusing a substance—alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and more. Addiction, on the outside, can also look like an obsessive behavior—video games, shopping, Internet, sex, pornography, and more. In other ways, addiction functions in the same way in every person it infects. Addiction, on the inside, is a disease that changes people’s brain so that dopamine and endorphins are released during the substance use and/or compulsive behavior. These pleasure hormones rewrite how people’s brains function so that their natural controls are by-passed. The more the addiction progresses, the more people lose control. Recognizing its signs and seeking help sooner rather than later are often keys to recovery. Without a doubt, effective treatments for recovery are available.
Are you in search of Prince William counseling for addiction help? Thriveworks Manassas has helped many people in the Manassas and Wellington areas who are fighting an addiction find the resources, healing, and hope that they and their loved ones desperately need. Our therapists and counselors understand the holistic support their clients require, and our caring counselors and psychologists are dedicated to offering individualized care.
Behavioral, Emotional, and Physical Signs of Addiction
It is easy to say the words, addiction is a disease that alters people’s brains. But what does that mean? The illness may occur in people’s brains, but the effects are shown in people’s real lives. Addiction changes people’s emotions, bodies, and behaviors. Its effects are devastating. The following are the behavioral, emotional, and physical signs of addiction. Think about your own life as you read through this list. If you recognize anything, it may be time to reach out for help. Know that help is available.
Behavioral Symptoms of Addiction
- Hiding and keeping secrets.
- Relational problems—fighting, tension, strain, worry, and more.
- Regularly missing school or work or personal engagements.
- Work or school challenges—low grades, poor review, or being fired.
- Disconnecting from relationships and activities—isolating oneself.
- Financial difficulties (especially needing money).
- Lying to hide one’s behavior (especially to loved ones).
Emotional Symptoms of Addiction
- An inability to handle stress or challenges in life.
- Loss of interest in people/activities that were once valued.
- Lacking awareness about one’s behavior: blame, denial, rationalizations, minimizations, diversions.
- Being obnoxious, silly, or easily confused.
Physical Symptoms of Addiction
- Being hyperactive or lethargic (depending upon the drug).
- Being undernourished or pale.
- Repetitive speech.
- Weight loss.
- Body odor that is unpleasant or different.
- Red eyes, dilated pupils.
- Excessive sniffing while not ill.
These signs give a more tangible picture of how addiction brings destruction to addicts and their loved ones. Addiction offers false promises of hope and healing and acceptance, but it never delivers. Instead, addiction leads people down the same path other illnesses lead—toward death. Addiction may steal people’s family, finances, career, and even health, but it can be fought. Like other illnesses, mental health professionals often know the best way to combat the illness and bring long-term healing.
Addiction Therapy at Thriveworks Manassas in Prince William: Scheduling an Appointment
“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 fighting an addiction, you are not alone. It is estimated that 21 million individuals in the US are also fighting. Here are a few other things that may be helpful to know…
- Addiction is not a choice—No one wants to be addicted. Just as you did not choose to be an addict, you cannot simply choose to stop the compulsive behavior or the substance abuse. You can work on changing the patterns in your brain, and a skilled mental health therapist can often help.
- You are a strong person—Addiction strikes indiscriminately. It can attack the rich and poor, the old and young, men and women. Addiction has nothing to do with whether people are strong. Just as no one should be blamed for having cancer, no one should be blamed for having an addiction.
Treatment options are available for addiction. If you live near Manassas or Wellington and are ready to get started, the therapists, psychologists, and counselors at Thriveworks Manassas in Prince William are ready, too. When you contact our office, your first appointment may be within 24 hours. We also accept many forms of insurance. Call today.