According to the self medication hypothesis of substance abuse, many people develop addiction problems in an attempt to manage the distress associated with the effects of trauma exposure and to alleviate traumatic stress symptoms.
Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate you have an addiction;
- Using more of the substance than intended or over a long period of time.
- Having difficulty cutting down on using or quitting.
- Experiencing strong cravings to use the substance.
- Using the substance to the point that it interferes with home, school, or work responsibilities.
- Regularly using the substance despite interpersonal difficulties that are caused or worsened by the substance.
- Habitually using the substance in dangerous situations, for example, driving a vehicle.
- Requiring more and more of the substance to feel the desired effects or feeling less of a ‘high’ when using the same amount (tolerance).
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use of the substance, or continuing use of the substance to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Abandoning significant activities or hobbies in favour of using the substance.
If this sounds like you then I can help you. I have been working as an addiction counsellor for nearly 10 years in clinical settings. I can teach you how to manage your cravings and to learn alternative coping strategies. I also utilise an EMDR protocol known as DeTur, devised by Popky, which can help to desensitise the triggers which often lead to use of substances. I also utilise Dr Robert Miller’s Feeling State Addiction Protocol which breaks the fixation between feeling and behaviour. Read an in depth understanding of the Feeling State Theory of Impulse Control Disorders