Addicted?: Recognizing Destructive Behaviors Before It’s Too Late

Addicted?: Recognizing Destructive Behaviors Before It’s Too Late

Despite our associating addictions with crazy, out of control behavior, most addictions go unrecognized. Those who suffer from addictions often misinterpret their symptoms as a sign of some other problem. Health care professionals who are entrusted by society to identify such problems routinely fail to do so. When addictions are recognized, they are confined to substance use, which overlooks the wide array of activities that engage people in an addictive manner. Further, when addictions are detected, they are in their most advanced and difficult to treat phases. In large part this is due to the all or none way we think about addiction; either you are addicted or not. In reality, an addiction does not emerge fully formed; what starts out as just having fun, gradually, over time, becomes a problem.

To limit the devastation created by late stage addictions and reap the benefits of early detection, this book provides questionnaires that screen for a wide array of chemical and behavioral addictions at all stages of development. Much in the same way we learned the early warning signs of cancer, this book explores different ways to recognize the early and often subtle signs of addiction. Unlike cancer, where people rush to get treatment, facing an addiction is associated with guilt and ambivalence. To navigate these feelings and get help, the book provides a step-by-step guide for how to prepare the addicted person, be it oneself or someone else, to change an addiction.

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