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The Generic Pattern

1. A situation or thought engenders painful or threatening feelings: sadness, anxiety, anger. Often, one is unaware of these feelings.
2. Engaging in the addictive activity provides short term relief as the addict dissociates from the feelings.
3. Relief leads to more problems at work and at home, health and legal problems, and guilt about the addictive behavior, all of which result from inattention to what has been avoided.
4. The problem situations, shame, and guilt start the cycle again.

Indicators of Addiction

Bullet When you have problems related to the use of a substance or to a behavior, but you keep on doing it.
Bullet Consumes a major part of your thinking and time
Bullet You can't just stop.
Bullet Interferes with relationships and social interactions
Bullet Interferes with work
Bullet Responsibilities are neglected while pursuing the addiction.
Bullet Previous pleasures no longer provide the enjoyment that the addiction does.

Addictions impact you, your family, friends, and the workplace.
Recovering can benefit all these areas.


Examples of Potentially Addictive Behaviors

bullet Chemical substances, including alcohol, other drugs, tobacco
bullet Gambling
bullet Internet and computer game addictions
bullet Eating disorders [anorexia, bulimia, compulsive eating]
bullet Compulsive exercise
bullet Shopping [compulsive spending]
bullet Work
bullet Sex/Pornography
bullet Television

Comments, questions, or suggestions?  Please, email me.

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Jonathan P. Levine, CSW
2300 West Ridge Rd.
Rochester, NY  14626
(585) 225-0330

Updated on 06/22/2002
2002, Jonathan P. Levine, CSW