The vast majority of people who have an addiction, regardless of the type of addiction, have very similar patterns of behavior. Often the people who are close to an addict miss the early signs of addiction or accept the behaviors of the addict based on the lies the addict tells. Understanding these “games” that addicts play can help you identify the telltale signs of addiction even in the early stages.
As I talk about in “The Law of Sobriety”, addicts realize that what they are doing is destructive, negative, and harmful. They do whatever they can to hide their addiction from friends and family. Some addicts are very good at this secretive double life but it always comes to the surface when the addiction takes over. For many this is a slow process while for others it can be relatively fast.
There are 5 typical behaviors that are common with addictions of all types. If you suspect someone has an addiction these will be red flags that can help you to determine if you need to reach out to get them the help and support they need.
- Manipulating their time – an addict needs to find time to engage in their addictive behaviors away from who that are critical of the behavior. Watch for absences, irregular schedules, and lack of accountability for time in the addict’s life.
- Denial – the addict will deny or minimize any type of behavior that is related to the addiction.
- Defensiveness – questioning the addict about their life, habits, behavior, changes in their personality, or any other issues will trigger extreme defensiveness or blaming.
- Lies – catching addicts in lies is usually not difficult to do. Telling lies and trying to remember these stories is stressful, difficult, and overwhelming.
- Isolation – most addicts remove themselves from the people that know them best because their change in behavior, lifestyle or personality is most obvious to those who are familiar.
Changing from addiction to a clean and sober lifestyle first takes acceptance and acknowledgement of the addiction. Detecting addiction-related behaviors and getting help and support for yourself as well as the addict is essential in providing the right environment for this acceptance to occur.
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Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.