5 Signs You Might Have an Addiction

5 Signs You Might Have an Addiction

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Am I an addict?

This post was originally published on June 24, 2015.

So you have this sneaky inkling of a suspicion that you might have a little…problem. With booze, with drugs, with food, with sex, with whatever. It doesn’t matter; in the overall scheme, an addiction is an addiction, and generally speaking, they don’t tend to make you happy or fulfilled (not in the long term, right?). Here are a few ways to tell if you might, indeed, have a “habit” that’s worth some deeper examination.

1) You feel like shit all the time 

Depression, anxiety and despair have a tendency to set in when we do things that are bad for us. Especially when we do those things over and over again with zero regard for their impact on our longevity and well-being. If you notice a major shift in your mood or overall outlook—or if your mood/outlook are changing like the wind, all the damn time—it’s time to consider what unsavory actions or behaviors might be driving it.

2) You look like shit, too

On the same note, you might want to take a closer look at your habits if you notice (or, more jarringly, fail to notice but someone else does) a big change in your physical appearance over a relatively short period time. Lost 30 pounds without trying? Developed crazy-horrible inflamed red craters and hollows all over your face, seemingly outta the blue? Overall skin tone suddenly resembling a pallid, rotting corpse instead of a humanoid’s golden glow? Time to take a look in the mirror, literally.

3) Your friends are gone (or you suddenly have a whole new slew of them)

This is one you might not even notice, but your buddies definitely will. If there’s a big shift in your social life in a relatively short time period, it could be a tip-off that shit’s not right. Of course, if you remember making the conscious choice to dump all your old friends and get awesome new ones, this might not apply. But if you wake up one Sunday and realize holy hell Batman WTF I totally have no friends anymore, or holy hell Batman all the friends I do have bear similarly rotting-corpse complexions and gaunt-ass frames like mine, it might be time to reconsider some of your recent choices.

4) Your work is suffering 

If your boss has noticed your tired ass dragging into the office an hour late for the past two weeks, or, worse, you can’t seem to make it into the office at all on a semi-regular basis, or worse than that, you’ve been uncharacteristically unemployed for a while now, you should probably check yourself. Another warning sign: You opt to sleep on a park bench during your lunch hour because, duh, you need a nap (translation: you need to desperately scramble for a way to fight the cresting waves of nausea and splitting headache).

5) Family drama

Your mom keeps calling to ask if you’re okay (you continuously send her straight to voicemail, natch). Your brother/sister/cousin sends you concerned text after concerned text asking if you’re mad at them/why you’ve been MIA/whether you need someone to talk to/whether you’ve finally fallen off the deep end. You can’t remember the last time you had a  conversation with your dad when you were in your right mind. If you’re shutting your family out—either in an attempt to shield them from your current state or because you suddenly “don’t have time” for their irritating nosy crap—you might want to ask yourself why.

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.