A habit is a part of your routine that is behavioral or ritualistic. The longer someone does a routine (like always brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up) would be a habit. Addiction is when someone can’t stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it’s causing psychological or physical harm. Being honest with yourself about when you have crossed the line from habit to addiction is important so you can look for negative behavior and get help for it. If you are wondering if you are engaging in habitual or addictive behaviors/activities, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your behavior negatively impacting your life?
- Do you repeatedly put yourself in risky situations?
- When you stop drinking or using for any length of time, do you experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or stress?
- Have you taken steps to hide your behavior or have you repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, tried to stop drinking or using on your own?
- Am I unable to stop engaging in the behavior even if I want to?
- Am I failing to fulfill my personal obligations and responsibilities because of my behavior?
- Are my loved ones confronting me about the behavior and expressing concern?
- Am I hiding the behavior from others?
- Have I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I attempt to stop?
If you said yes to one or more of these questions, you may have an addiction instead of a habit. Getting help and seeking treatment are the recommended options so you can address, understand, and beat your addiction. Addiction can take its toll on you, your friends and family, and your career. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of your inner strength and bravery to overcome a powerful disease. Regaining control will be very powerful and offer you a life-changing experience.