Is Your Bad Habit An Addiction?

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Is Your Bad Habit An Addiction?

 

Something we do out of habit can evolve into an addiction if we’re not careful. It’s important to look out for the signs of an addiction early – the longer an addiction is allowed to persist, the harder it can be to break. Below are 5 tell-tale signs that a habit has become an addiction.

It’s causing you to neglect responsibilities

A habit can become an addiction if it causes you to neglect responsibilities such as your job, parenthood, housework or looking after pets. For example, there are many people who put in hours of gaming per week but who are still able to lead productive lives. If you’re performing poorly at work because you spent all night playing video games or your home has become a mess because you’re gaming instead of cleaning, this could be a sign that it’s become an addiction. 

It’s having a negative impact on your relationships

How your habit affects your relationship with other people matters too. We all have habits that people find annoying, but these habits shouldn’t be causing genuine pain or concern. For example, sex can be healthy in any romantic relationship, but one of you could be suffereing from a love addiction if demanding it too much from your partner or you’re unable to perform because you keep satisfying your urges yourself.

It’s getting you into financial trouble

You should also think about the cost of sustaining your habit. Many of us love to gamble or go shopping, but are able to stay within a healthy budget. If you find that your habit is getting you into debt (e.g. taking out loans, maxing credit cards, missing bills) or causing you to cut back on other important things (e.g. cutting back on food to buy more alcohol), it could be a sign that it’s become an addiction.

It’s damaging your physical health

Once a habit starts negatively impacting your physical health, this is a sure sign that you need to stop. Obvious examples include developing diabetes from eating too much or developing liver disease from drinking too much alcohol. More subtle physical health problems to look out for include bleeding fingers from biting nails or simply gaining excess weight from eating or drinking – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a medical disease to be a warning sign.

You feel ashamed by it but cannot stop/cut back

 

You shouldn’t feel ashamed by a habit, and if you do you should be able to quit it. If you find yourself constantly engaging in this habit despite not feeling proud of it, it could be a sign that it has turned into an addiction. This is typically when people start hiding a habit – doing it in secret and lying to others about quitting or cutting down. There may even be physical withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sweating or a headache. Getting help to break your addiction could be necessary – consider looking into different types of therapy to see if this helps you find the motivation to quit/cut down.

What do you think?

Is Your Bad Habit An Addiction?

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.