When faced with prolonged stress, trauma or crisis, it can be difficult identifying healthy ways to cope with the emotional, mental and physical strain. Replacing those negative feelings and emotions with things such as alcohol, gambling, drugs, excessive eating or even shopping can, unfortunately, lead down a path toward addiction. A glass of wine may feel like it relieves stress or a shopping spree may temporarily help you feel better. However, rather than facing difficult emotions head-on, continual use of these coping methods won’t reduce and can even increase your distress.
You can determine your risk factor for “over use” based on these general signs:
- The inability or lack of self-control to stay away from a substance or specific behavior.
- Needing to consume more or do more of the activity to feel the desired positive effect.
- Isolation and avoidance, such as ignoring commitments, responsibilities or relationships.
- Extreme changes in your overall mood or demeanor such as bouts of excitement or anger.
- Sleeping a lot more or less than usual, or at different times of the day or night.
- With substance abuse addictions, trying to stop and experiencing signs of withdrawal such as increased anxiety/depression, fatigue, sweating and vomiting.
The American Fidelity's EAP flash course, Avoiding Addiction, can help you recognize signs of trouble and learn healthy coping skills in times of stress. Watch the short video now.
American Fidelity's EAP Can Help.
For confidential guidance, support, resources and referrals to help you or a loved one who is struggling with these symptoms or has concerns about addiction, contact American Fidelity's EAP by selecting an icon from the Access Bar above or by calling 1-800-295-8323. Licensed clinicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at no cost to you.