Some types of behavior that may have started as habits or recreational and social use can easily become addictive. Destructive habits may have begun as a way to help ease depression or anxiety and while working at first, no longer have any positive results. Instead, the self- medication becomes its own problem. Often, more and more of a substance or activity is needed to achieve the same level of relief. Some common examples of addictions involve:
- Drug use
- Food intake
- Sexual activities
How Can You Tell a Habit is Out of Control?
Indications that a habit is out of control and may have turned into an addiction are:
- Constant thinking about the behavior
- Wondering when you will be able to engage in the behavior
- The behavior begins to interfere with your job, family, friends, happiness and even the ability to sleep.
You may make promises to stop or reduce the habit and tell others that you will stop, however, as you may have already discovered, stopping an addiction can be very difficult. Your attempts to stop addictive behavior can result in frustration and anger and often fail without professional help.
Are Friends and Family Urging You to “Just quit?”
While family and friends have your best interests at heart, they simply don’t understand how difficult “just quitting” may be for you. It is important not to perceive yourself as a failure or as weak, if you cannot live up to your expectations for success. Once an activity has become part of your life or routine, exercising control can be very difficult, especially if you try to make changes on your own. Many people have stopped addictive habits for a while, only to relapse, time and again. If you try to keep your addictive habits hidden from others, relapses can also produce feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Secrets and cover-ups often cause guilt, not to mention taking time and energy away from other activities that might produce more pleasure.
How Can a Therapist Help?
At Community Psychological Services, we understand addictions. When you seek our help, our therapists will work with you to develop an individualized, supportive treatment plan that meets your needs and work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Whether you are thinking about putting a stop to an addictive habit for the first time or you are struggling to maintain recovery from a habit, your therapist will develop an approach that is right for you and will allow you to succeed.
How Does Therapy Work?
Therapy provides emotional and empathetic understanding necessary to begin healing. Your therapist will provide a safe, nonjudgmental, confidential relationship that promotes honesty and support that is so crucial to your recovery. A therapist will help you learn how to deal with negative feelings instead of medicating them with drugs, alcohol or negative and harmful behaviors. You will learn new coping skills and techniques that will be more effective in dealing with the problems in your life. An individual program will allow you to discover ways to alleviate what originally caused your addiction and teach you how to respond to the emotions that contribute to your addiction.
What are Relapse Prevention Programs?
Community Psychological Services relapse prevention programs are:
- Tailored to your needs
- Identify specific emotions that trigger relapse
- Help you respond in a meaningful way to disturbing emotions rather than gravitating to self-destructive behavior
- Address the vicious cycle of addiction that contributes to low self-esteem, guilt and shame
- Deals with the actual physical component of chemical dependency that triggers the actual cravings.
- Teach you tools of recovery
- Provide support and encouragement to help you understand that you are worthy of being helped and are capable of finding relief from the struggles of addiction
Guidance for Family and Friends
Addictive behavior often has an impact on both family and friends. At Community Psychological Services, we provide individual counseling and/or support for family members and friends who need guidance and a better understanding of the addictions you are tackling.
Contact Us – We are Here to Help
Call our Encino office at (818) 907-7974 to arrange confidential appointment with a trained psychotherapist. Community Psychology Services is conveniently located on Ventura Blvd. with access to major freeways. Parking is available at our location.