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How Do You Know You Have an Addiction?

September 10, 2009



Q: How do you know you have an addiction? Maybe you just have a weakness or a “thorn in the flesh”.


Mark Lassar in his book Faithful and True gives us five characteristics of addictive behavior:


1.  REPETITIVE – Does your behavior happen on a regular basis? Not necessarily every day. But something your keep coming back to.

2.  DEGENERATIVE – An addiction intensifies more over time. You need more of the behavior to satisfy you and to achieve the same effect. You need more for the same high, so you get deeper and your behavior becomes more risky.

3.  UNMANAGEABLE – You want to quit, but you can’t. You quit 55 times and come back that 56th time. Powerless.

4.  MEDICATIVE – We use the behavior to alter our mood. Bring us up or bring us down. We use the behavior to escape pain or escape reality. We are bored, so we act out. We can’t sleep, so we act out. We are lonely, so we act out.

5.  DESTRUCTIVE – We are seeing the consequences of this behavior in our life. Our work life suffers. Our marriage suffers. Our spiritual life suffers. We may get a disease. We may rack up thousands in credit card debt. Addictive behaviors always plunge us into destruction.


Q: What are some other signs of an addiction?
Q: How do you know a person is addicted or not?

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