Often times, when we are faced with prolonged stress, trauma or crisis, it can be difficult identifying healthy ways to cope with the emotional, mental and physical strain we may be facing. When we find ourselves in these types of situations, 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 can perpetuate and even increase your distress.
What does addiction actually look like? According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), it’s defined as, “a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions. Someone with an addiction will crave a substance or other behavioral habits. They’ll often ignore other areas of life to fulfill or support their desires”.
You can determine your risk factor for addiction based on these general signs:
- The inability or lack of self-control to stay away from a substance or specific behavior (such as gambling, excessive eating or shopping).
- Lower socialization, such as ignoring commitments, responsibilities or relationships.
- Needing to do more of the activity or behavior to feel the desired positive effect.
- 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.
- Changes in energy – unexpectedly and extremely tired or energetic.
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain.
- Seeming unwell at certain times and better at other times.
- With substance abuse addictions, trying to stop and experiencing signs of withdrawal such as increased anxiety/depression, fatigue, sweating and vomiting.
If you or a loved one are struggling with these symptoms or have concerns about addiction, contact the American Fidelity's EAP program today for additional support at 1-800-295-8323.
To learn more about ‘Avoiding Addiction’ watch this short video.
If you are looking for the Building a Drug Free Workplace monthly seminar, please use the “What’s On Your Mind?” search function to locate it.
American Fidelity's EAP Can Help.
For confidential guidance, support, resources and referrals, contact American Fidelity's EAP by selecting an icon from the Access Bar on the home screen or by calling 1-800-295-8323.