Many addicts live in denial about their issues. A large number are convinced they do not have a problem and will carry on with their destructive behaviour. For some individuals, it is easier to deny that the problem exists rather than accept it, as this would mean having to change or get help. Some are genuinely unaware that their habit has developed into an addiction.
When Habit Becomes Addiction
Probably the biggest difference between a habit and an addiction is control. Those with a habit have control over their actions. They are not consumed by a particular substance or activity or thinking about it all day long. For example, they can drink, take drugs or gamble in moderation.
However, when a habit has developed into something more, it now has control of the user. The user no longer has control over how much or how often he or she drinks or gambles. Also, he or she will spend all of his/her time thinking about the substance or activity to which he/she is addicted. However, there are a few stages to get past before something becomes an addiction.
A habit will generally start with experimentation. Most people will be curious about a particular substance or activity and will need to try it to see if they find it enjoyable. If they do, they are likely to try it again. If they do not like it, they are unlikely to want it again.
Those who try something and like it will probably want it again. The fact that it was enjoyable makes a person desire it. Nevertheless, at this stage, the individual is unlikely to be thinking about it that much. He or she knows that they will try it again if the opportunity arises but they are not actively seeking it out.
Once a person begins desiring something more often, they are at the stage where they want it. Once they want it, they will start behaving in ways that will allow them to satisfy their desire. When an individual wants something, he or she will make a point of getting it. They will plan ahead to ensure that they can actually satisfy their desire. When a person desires something, they may not go out of their way to get it, but when they want something, they will do whatever they have to to ensure that they get it.
Once a person begins to want something more frequently, he or she will be at the stage where a habit has been formed. A habit occurs when an individual engages in a particular activity without actually thinking about it too much. They act out of habit; it may be that they automatically have a glass of wine with their dinner without even thinking about the fact that they are reaching for the bottle and pouring the drink.
Upon reaching the stage where a particular substance or activity is needed, it has passed the habit stage and is on the way to addiction. At this stage, a person may feel that they cannot do without a drink or drug. Once an individual feels that they need something, they are surrendering control.
Once control has been given over to a substance or activity, addiction has developed. The person is now at the stage where they cannot quit, even if they want to. They are aware of the damage that engaging in a particular activity will cause, but they cannot stop. They have no control over their actions.
Addiction is an illness of the brain, but help is available. Rehab Helper is a free service for addicts and their families and provides advice and information on the treatments available. Call today for more information.