Wilkes Barre, PA—Counseling and Therapy for Addiction
Julian is one of the most well-known and well-liked members of his small town. He runs a small business that employs many in the community. His kids attend the local school, where Julian and his wife also volunteer. This is the perfect picture most people see when they think of Julian, but if they looked a little closer, they would see a man who is hurting. He has struggled with shame and self-doubt and anxiety for his whole life, and he has numbed that pain for as long as he can remember with pornography. On the surface, his life looks perfect, but Julian feels like he is falling apart. He works too much. He and his wife are distant. Julian tries to connect with his kids, but he does not know how. He volunteers and works long hours because he does not know what else to do. Exhausted, he retreats into an online, fantasy world. Julian has tried to stop many times, but he cannot shake it. He is beginning to wonder if this could be an addiction and if therapy might help.
“Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges.” —Kate Middleton
Twenty-one million people in the United States are fighting an addiction. It is a disease that strikes the poor and rich, the young and old, women and men. It can show itself in many forms. Sometimes, addiction looks substance abuse wherein people bond with prescription drugs, alcohol, opioids, cocaine, marijuana, food, or more. Sometimes, addiction looks like Julian’s struggle—a compulsive behavior. The compulsion can be Internet, sex, gambling, shopping, video games, and more. However the addiction displays itself, the underlying problem it causes in a person’s life is the same: addiction changes people’s brains. There are effective treatments for addiction, and just like most serious illnesses, treatment often requires the guidance of a mental health professional.
Thriveworks Wilkes Barre has guided many of our clients toward the healing they deserve. Addiction is a terrible disease to live with. If you are struggling, consider reaching out for help.
Addiction’s Symptoms and Signs
When people have a hard time controlling their own behavior, an addiction may have developed. When people center their world around a substance or an activity, an addiction may have developed. When people make decisions that harm themselves or their loved ones in order to use a substance or continue an activity, an addiction may have developed. Addiction is a disease that takes over control of a person’s brain. There are real-life signs and symptoms that signal the disease may be wreaking havoc on an individual’s brain.
Some of the symptoms and signs that an addiction has developed include…
- Cravings: People may lust after their addiction, demand it, dream about it. An addict’s cravings must be satisfied, despite the consequences it will cause.
- Deceit: Lies and addiction are best friends. Addicts may lie to hide the addiction. They may lie to obtain their substance or activity. They may lie to avoid responsibility and consequences. They may lie to minimize what is happening.
- Escalation: Addiction is a progressive disease. Over time, the amount of time spent shopping or playing video games will not satisfy the addiction. Over time, the amount of substance abused will increase. Escalation will occur in an addiction.
- Lost Control: Many times, addicts do not want to abuse the substance or participate in the compulsive activity. Many times, addicts try to quit, but they are often unsuccessful because they use willpower instead of proven treatment methods.
- Moodiness: People who are fighting an addiction often struggle with emotional regulation. They may have difficulty handling stress and display irritability, annoyance, and anger easily. These mood flares can be directly associated with the addiction—when they cannot get their fix or when they are confronted, et cetera. But the moodiness can also occur in daily life without a direct link to the addiction.
Common Addiction Myths
Addiction is a widespread illness, but many myths persist about it. These misunderstandings can shame people and keep them from reaching out for help they desperately need. It is important to acknowledge these myths and the truth about what addiction is and how it functions.
Myth #1: Addicts Are Weak People. This myth shames people into thinking that the addiction is their fault when addiction is a disease that develop in all kinds of people. In fact, many of the risk factors for addiction are out of people’s control—family history, genetic make-up, and childhood trauma.
Myth #2: Addiction Is a Choice. This is another myth that makes people feel as if they are to blame for this disease. Addiction is not a choice. Treatment does not involve being stronger or using more willpower. Instead, treatment focuses upon brain health and integration.
Myth #3: Addiction Is Rare. This myth isolates people. The truth is that millions of people struggle with addiction, and support groups are filled with people who understanding and are ready offer help.
Appointment for Addiction Counseling at Thriveworks Wilkes Barre
If you are struggling with a compulsive behavior or substance abuse, help is available. Thriveworks Wilkes Barre has appointments available for addiction therapy. When you contact our office, you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We accept many insurance plans, and we offer weekend and evening sessions. Let’s work together. Call today.