When Your Addiction Is To A Narcissist
If you have an energy vampire, or narcissist, in your life and you are hanging on to the relationship to the point where your life is disrupted, this is called narcissistic addiction. And it is real! In fact, there are even biochemical changes in your body that take place, as with any addiction. Because of this, your brain chemicals can actually lock you into addiction to an energy vampire. Of course, if you already have addictive tendencies such as to drugs or alcohol you may understand the brain chemical aspect. It works like this:
You experience the release of dopamine when the narcissist is love-bombing you with gifts and compliments. You also experience the release of oxytocin when you are physically around your energy vampire, especially if you are in a sexual relationship. Then, when the energy vampire starts to exhibit unpredictable behavior, you experience adrenaline rushes. Finally, when you experience abuse at the hands of a narcissist you ultimately experience the effects of a constant stream of cortisol.
Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction You Need To Know
The symptoms of drug addiction arent always obvious. Thats because many people struggle with the difference between addiction and recreational use. While many drugs carry inherent risks of addiction, most people dont become addicted to most substances after using them once.
Drug addiction doesnt come with a sign that announces that you have a problem to the world. Whether youre wondering if you have developed a dependency on prescription drugs or you worry that a friend or family member has developed an addiction, these signs and symptoms can help you determine if theres a problem that requires help.
Signs You’re Becoming Addicted To Something
It’s easy to talk about addiction in a throwaway manner, as if just liking something quite a lot classifies you as an addict. Spoiler: it doesn’t. But social conceptions of how an addict looks and behaves still often look like something out of a Dickens novel, when the reality is more nebulous, less obvious, and more common. But how do you know if you’re becoming addicted to something or just having a good time?
The most commonly discussed area of addiction is drug and alcohol abuse the rehab organization Addiction Center estimates that 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction to alcohol or both legal and illegal drugs. When it comes to behavioral addictions, the lines are a bit less clear but from psychologically accepted problems like gambling to more contested definitions like sex addiction, it’s now no longer just substance abuse on the table when we talk about addicts.
If you’re worried you might be dependent on something â whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, or anything else â here are nine common signs you may indeed be addicted.
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Taking Drugs Helps Me Feel Less Depressedwhat’s Wrong With That
The relief you feel is only temporary and can cause more problems down the road, as your brain and body start to crave more and more drugs just to feel normal. It is very possible you need to find treatment for your depression as well as for your drug use. This is very common. It is called “comorbidity” or “co-occurrence” when you have more than one health problem at the same time. For more information, see Drug Facts for Teens Co-Occurring Substance Use and Other Mental Health Issues.
Be certain to tell your doctor about your drug use, as well as any depression or anxiety you feel, or any other mental health issues you are experiencing. There are many nonaddictive medicines that can help with depression or other mental health issues. Sometimes doctors do not talk to each other as much as they should. For example, a therapist you might be seeing for depression does not always consult with your pediatrician. So you need to be your own best friend and advocateand make sure all of your health care providers know about all of the health issues that concern you. You should be treated for all of them at the same time.
Note: If you ever feel so depressed that you think about hurting yourself, there is a hotline you can call: 1-800-273-TALK . This is called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and you can share all of your problems with them. A caring, nonjudgmental voice will be on the other end, listening.
How Can Someone Recover From Love Addition
The first step in recovering from love addiction is to recognize the problem. Like fighting any addiction, the process can be challenging. Feelings of withdrawal may arise. Recovering love addicts may have to face unresolved childhood pain. However, with help, people can break the pattern of love addiction and go on to form truly fulfilling and close intimate relationships.
Many people find help by entering a 12-step program for love addiction. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous offers meetings worldwide.
According to Pia Mellody, there are four phases of recovery from love addiction.
- The first step is to address any other addictive processes, such as alcoholism, eating disorder, etc.
- The second step is to disengage from the addictive part of the relationship process.
- The third step is to find a therapist, if necessary, to help deal with unresolved childhood pain. Mellody explains, In my experience, most people who recover from toxic relationships as adults first need therapeutic help with their internal residue of unresolved and harmful feelings from childhood.
- The fourth step is to work on the underlying co-dependent symptoms.
If a recovering love addict is not currently in a relationship, it is very important that they pay close attention to the type of partner they may be drawn to when entering a new relationship. Otherwise, they may repeat the same destructive relationship dynamics.
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Crime And Deviant Behavior
- Have you ever manipulated a doctor to attain prescription drugs?
- Have you ever used substances without knowing what they were or what they would do to you?
- Have you ever stolen substances or stolen something to pay for substances?
- Have you acted erratically or felt not in control of your actions?
Addiction often drives reasonable individuals to uncharacteristic behavior and, in many cases, even crime. Faking a health condition to obtain prescription drugs, stealing from friends or family, and taking unknown substances are common among individuals struggling with addiction. If you find yourself acting out of character, committing crimes or doing things that hurt loved ones to satisfy your substance use habits, you likely have an addiction.
You Pass Up Social Situations Where You Can’t Partake
Addicts often find that they are less interested in activities and pastimes that they once loved, purely because they don’t involve the addiction. Alongside this shift in priorities, addicts also start to do something Medical News Today calls “social and recreational sacrifices,” where they actively opt out of social situations where they won’t have the chance to use. Addicts may also find that their attention to their need means they pay less attention to basic needs, like food and hygiene.
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Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse
1. Small Physical Symptoms:
Side effects can include slight alterations to physical appearance that may start to become noticeable. Bloodshot or red eyes and pinpoint or dilated pupils are all telling signs of many types of drug abuse. Also, pay attention to skin texture and complexion. Frequent abnormal puffiness and flushed or washed-out color can also indicate ongoing abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Many forms of drug abuse come with small behavioral changes that might be dismissed as tics. If you notice any of the following, it could be signs of a hidden condition:
- Persistent itching in a specific area of the body
- Impulsive pulling down of sleeves to hide marks
- Slurred speech
- Frequent sniffling
While these are not definitive signs, if they are accompanied by secretiveness or defensiveness, they could provide helpful clues as to whether something is wrong.
2. Overall Appearance:
Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol can result in drastic changes to physical appearance. Many drugs have appetite suppressing or other altering side effects, meaning abuse often results in visible weight changes.
These rapid changes to body composition, such as sudden weight loss or weight gain, or lack of interest in personal grooming, especially if it declines without explanation, can also point to substance abuse and can be cause for concern.
It can be an obvious indicator if you find equipment in someones room or among their things. Some common items include:
What Is The Cycle Of Love Addictions
Love addictions tend to follow a predicable cycle.
- In the initial stage of attraction, both partners are very drawn to one another.
- As they get involved, the love addict forms a fantasy of being rescued. At the same time, their partner begins to put up walls to avoid real intimacy.
- The love addict becomes enamored with a fantasy and is blind to real flaws in the relationship and their partner. The relationship becomes the center of their universe and they start to think about it incessantly. Meanwhile, the avoidant partner begins to pull away more and more. Sensing their partners neediness and insecurity leads them to resent the relationship. When the avoidant partner pulls away, the love addicts fear of abandonment is triggered and they cling on more tightly.
- The love addict becomes frustrated and upset. No matter how much energy they pour into the relationship, they cant seem to make it work. They try to fix themselves, still clinging to the fantasy that their partner is perfect or going to change. At this point, the avoidant partner may be distancing himself further from the relationship, potentially abusing alcohol or drugs or having an affair.
- Eventually the love addict starts to recognize their partners bad behavior. They may lash out with emotional outbursts. They might act compulsively.
- Feeling ashamed of their own bad behavior, the love addict apologizes and returns once again to the fantasy that things will all work out.
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I Tried Rehab Once And It Didn’t Workwhy Should I Try It Again
If you have already been in rehab, it means you have already learned many of the skills needed to recover from addiction, and you should try it again. Relapsing does not mean the first treatment failed. People with all kinds of diseases relapse people with other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and asthmawhich have both physical and behavioral componentsrelapse about as much as people who have addictions.
Treatment of all chronic diseases, including addiction, involves making tough changes in how you live and act, so setbacks are to be expected along the way. A return to drug use means treatment needs to be started again or adjusted, or that you might need a different treatment this time.
Normal Behavior Can Easily Turn To Addiction With Some People Here Are The Danger Signs
Not everyone who has addictive tendencies is an addict. And yet people wonder about this all the time. Everyone has idiosyncrasies, small neuroses or vices that make them human. The difficulty is knowing when one of those little things needs your attention. Given the right set of circumstances, anyone can become an addict.
It’s human nature to want to soothe both physical and emotional pain. Sometimes this is done through the legitimate use of medication, hobbies, therapy, exercise, or other healthy activities. But sometimes, these substances and behaviors can escalate to unhealthy levels, or morph into using damaging substances and behaviors.
Addiction can come in many forms. They can include, but are not limited to:
- Indulging in Too Much Food, Alcohol, etc
- Collecting Massive Amounts of Unnecessary Items
In moderation, much of this does not typically pose any serious problem. However, non-threatening behavior become problematic when a person relies on impulse at the expense of acknowledging and experiencing feelings – especially painful ones. For some it can very easy to become addicted to avoiding normal and healthy, albeit uncomfortable, feelings.
To stay vigilant against tendencies that could turn into addictions, here are risk factors Graham recommends everyone monitor:
1. You often use a form of “medication/behavior” to discomfort, despite the and adverse consequences.
2. You lie or tell half- about your “medication/behavior.”
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Even While Getting Ready To Sleep You Feel The Need To Check Your Phone
Addicted people want to check their phones all the time, even while they are preparing to go to sleep.
They will then be in their beds and using their phones until they fall asleep, either going through random apps or talking to someone.
Most people would spoil their whole vacation by being on their phones instead of spending quality time there and enjoying the different place that they are at.
There is no point of a vacation if you remain on your phone constantly there as well.
You might as well then just stay at your home and use your phone there, at least that would save you from wasting any money.
If My Friend Or Loved One Refuses To Cooperate Should We Conduct An Intervention
Many people are compelled to enter treatment by the pressure of their family, friends, or a court system. However, there is no evidence that confrontational “interventions” like those familiar from TV programs are effective at convincing people they have a problem or motivating them to change. It is even possible for such confrontational encounters to escalate into violence or backfire in other ways. Instead, you should focus on creating incentives to at least get the person to a doctor. Often people will listen to professionals rather than have conversations with friends and family members, as the latter encounters can sometimes be driven by fear, accusations, and emotions.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Addiction
Addiction is a serious disease. If you or someone you care about has a problem with addiction, talk to your provider right away. Treatments and support groups can help.
A note from Cleveland Clinic If you or someone you know is living with addiction, you may feel overwhelmed and out of control. But there is hope. Addictions are treatable. Through hard work and commitment, millions of people have overcome substance use disorders to live happy, healthy lives. Talk to your provider about a treatment plan that works for you. Dont get discouraged if you have setbacks along the way. It is possible to overcome this, and you are not alone.
Problems With Relationships Work And School
Its normal to have problems in many areas of life when you or someone you care about struggles with an addiction. One of the major symptoms of drug addiction to consider is whether they have problems with relationships, work, or school.
Substance use disorders are hard on intimate relationships. Because people may act differently or feel pressured to hide their drug use, this can create stress in any relationship. This is especially normal among spouses and romantic partners, but it is not exclusive to them. In fact, its common for people with substance abuse problems to lash out at friends and slowly stop speaking to them entirely. Unfortunately, drugs often become more valuable to them than relationships, which can make it even harder for an outside observer to help them.
Signs of abuse also include trouble getting to work on time or focusing at work, as well as trouble performing well in the classroom. Again, since drugs become the individuals main priority, other obligations tend to fall to the wayside.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction How To Tell If Someone Needs Help For A Drug Problem
Understanding the science behind addiction can be complicated. Some people might think that people become addicted if they dont have any willpower or good morals. In actuality, addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease that can affect people from all backgrounds. It can happen to anyone at any age.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted because drugs have a different effect on everyone. Some people use drugs experimentally on occasion in a social setting. However, if usage becomes more regular, some people lose the ability to control when and how much they are using. Over time, drugs change behavior and how the brain, body, and mind function. This is how drug addiction, medically known as substance use disorder, develops. These changes can be long-lasting and cause stressful problems like missing work, legal issues, physical health problems, and trouble with family and friends.
Who Is Likely To Develop An Addiction
Anyone can develop a substance use disorder, but people with a family history of addictions are at higher risk. People who have mental health disorders including depression or post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to have co-morbid substance use disorders as well. Noteworthy, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender populations are also vulnerable to substance use disorders because they experience significantly more psychiatric issues than the heterosexual population. Factors in these experiences include things like discrimination and issues of family dynamics.
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How To Stop Porn Addiction
Go cold turkey, suggests Patel. For some people that might even include social media websites such as and . Instead, he recommends joining online support groups such as No Fap and Your Brain On Porn.
Some people will enter a period we call flatline, he adds. Youre used to being stimulated in a certain way, and real life doesnt really offer that. Some men complain that their penises appear smaller than usual. Their desire goes, their libido falls.
And if this happens? Persevere. The brain is a plastic organ, it can evolve, Patel continues. Hanging on is the difficult bit. This flatline makes people think, I better go back to porn, I need to fix this, but actually theyre fixing it by leaving it.
When the addiction rears its ugly head, try Davies mindfulness exercise: the Blast Technique.