The award-winning comedy, Mom, has used jokes to tackle one of the most serious topics in life: addiction. Every week, millions of viewers tune in to laugh and cry with Bonnie and Christy—a mother/daughter pair who is coming back together after years of estrangement. Both women have struggled with addiction, Bonnie to drugs and Christy to alcohol. Both women are fighting for control of their own lives, healing, and sobriety. Both women are fighting for their own future and for the future of their children and grandchildren—trying to break the generational pattern of addiction. Both women are tackling all this with grace and humor and understanding. Even though Bonnie and Christy are fictional characters, their stories are very real. Twenty-one million people in the United States are battling an addiction each year. Just like Bonnie and Christy, many people have an addiction, and they are getting the help they need to be sober.
“People still question my sobriety, my commitment to the program, and that hurts. I take things day by day, and sometimes I take them minute by minute, but I honor my commitment to stay sober.” —Tom Arnold
Sobriety is often a moment-by-moment endeavor. Addiction is an illness that attacks people’s brains, rewiring it. Healing, therefore, look like recapturing brain balance. This takes a holistic approach and may require people to re-center their lives on sobriety. Certainly, treating an addiction is a difficult process with many ups and downs, but it is also worthwhile. Many recovering addicts will testify that they have regained their lives, and many would also probably offer support to anyone who is ready to start treatment.
Addiction is a serious disease, but the therapists at Thriveworks Oklahoma City understand the many treatment options that are available to anyone who is suffering. Our professionals have walked with many people as they heal and find sobriety.
Signs and Symptoms for Addiction
In certain respects, addiction is a very personal illness. How it develops and the form it takes are often personal and unique to each individual it infects. Addiction can take many forms. It can take the form of substance abuse wherein people become addicted to prescription drugs, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, food—the list could go on. Addiction can take the form of a compulsive activity like having sex, shopping, gambling, playing video games, using pornography—the list could go on.
In other respects, regardless of how addiction manifests outwardly, what is happening on the inside is the same. Addiction alters the way that the brain functions. It overloads the brain with pleasure hormones and by-passes natural control responses. What does this look like in daily life? Here are a few signs and symptoms that addiction is wreaking havoc in someone’s brain:
- Deceit: Addiction and lying at two sides of the same coin. Addicts often lie to gain access to their fix. Addicts often lie to avoid responsibility. Addicts often lie to keep the addiction a secret. Addicts often lie to minimize the seriousness of the disease. Addicts often lie. Period. Addiction and deceive go hand-in-hand.
- Lost Control: No addict wants to be addicted. In fact, many times, addicts know that their lives are in danger. They often know they have lost control and the addiction is taking over their lives. They may have even tried to stop the addiction on their own, with willpower. Addiction, however, is not about willpower so these attempts often fail.
- Moodiness: Just as deceit and addiction go hand-in-hand, so does anger. An addict’s anger can flare without warning. The irritability may be about the addiction itself—the inability to get a fix, the fear of exposure, et cetera. The rage may also be a symptom of an inability to emotionally regulate oneself.
- Cravings: Addicts often speak about lusting after the addiction, dreaming about it, fantasizing about it. Cravings are a tool the addiction uses to emotionally bond an individual to a substance or an activity instead of to their friends and family members. Cravings turn into demands that must be fulfilled.
- Escalation: Addiction is not a passive disease. It is aggressive, and it escalates. Addiction always wants more—more of the drug, more of the alcohol, more shopping, more gambling. It is never satisfied. Reaching the same high means more—always more.
Addiction Therapy at Thriveworks Oklahoma City
As you read through the symptoms and signs of addiction, did you recognize anything? If you did, you are not alone. Help and hope is available. The therapists at Thriveworks Oklahoma City would like you to know a few things:
- You are strong. People who fight an addiction are some of the bravest people on earth.
- You are not to blame. Addiction beats people up. Sometimes, others pile on, but it’s not fair. You are not the problem—addiction is. Let’s do something about that problem and leave the blame and shame at the door.
- You are not alone. Many people, whole networks and communities of people who are sober, are ready to help. Therapists understand addiction and are often trusted guide.
If you are ready to start treatment for addiction, Thriveworks Oklahoma City is ready to help. When you contact our office, know that we accept many forms of insurance. New clients often meet with their therapists within 24 hours of their first call. We also offer evening and weekend sessions. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Oklahoma City to schedule an appointment for addiction therapy.