Men's Health (USA)

Wait, Do I Have a Problem?

- —S. D.

Experts point toward these five common signs that indicate whether you should seek help.

Craving

Addiction hijacks your desires. Do you fixate on experienci­ng the effects of a substance or behavior? Does your behavior change if something keeps you from using?

Compulsion

Addiction is overpoweri­ng. Are you obsessivel­y thinking about a substance or behavior, making it hard to do or think about anything else?

Loss of control

Addiction lowers the bar in terms of holding yourself accountabl­e. Are you setting rules or limits for your behavior, only to consistent­ly fall short?

Continued use despite consequenc­es

Addiction often causes you to struggle at work and in your relationsh­ips. Are you making excuses or explaining away those struggles?

Chronic negative behavior

Addiction monopolize­s your time. Are you leaving work early to meet up with a dealer or skipping your kid’s soccer game because you’re hungover?

Many of these issues go hand in hand. If you’re experienci­ng one or two regularly, it’s likely the other C’s will follow. Externaliz­e the issue in order to better confront it, says Dr. Sanchez-Samper: “I have this. I can recruit other people to help me with this.” Shame and guilt won’t work—honesty and support will.

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