In spite of what a person sees on TV or in movies, people with addiction are not all alike. Every person dealing with addiction has their own story and variations in substances, compulsions, triggers, and other issues. There are some common addiction styles that are helpful to know.
People who are high-functioning with addiction are able to keep up with many day-to-day responsibilities, maintaining the appearance all is well in spite of substance abuse or behavioral addiction. If often takes awhile for problems to catch up with them. The concern is more about what is going to happen next than what is happening now. Most appear to the outside world to have it together and are skilled at living a compartmentalized life.
Like a high-functioning addiction, people who struggle with this have problems related to addiction but are diligent enough to hide it. Someone who flies below the radar has enough coping skills to evade detection but may do things that are socially inappropriate that trigger a response from family and friends.
Rather than sticking with one vice or habit, the person who shape shifts tends to bounce from one compulsive behavior to another. Others may be opportunistic and use whatever substance is available. Substitutes or replacements for addiction can be due to searching for an interesting, or new, high that provides a different experience. The trouble is, the person who uses substances or has unhealthy addictions, are typically self-medicating difficult emotions or people in life rather than finding positive coping mechanisms.
Up-and Down Addiction
A person with this pattern has a tendency to overdo it, probably by drinking too much or bingeing on food or drugs. This may continue for awhile until the individual enters a period of abstinence during which he or she works harder than usual and becomes conscientious. A good portion of people with this pattern express regret over lack of self-control. The pressure to be on their best behavior may set them up to binge again and gets exhausting over time to hide.
There is no way to always know what type of addiction a person has, but these commonly seen types can manifest themselves in a therapeutic setting when a person seeks help for addiction. Some or all of these signs may show up at different points so a loved one may not know it is happening. If addiction is suspected, it is best to offer compassion, support, and a chance at receiving life-giving therapy to work towards recovery.
Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a space where you can find out how and why you have struggled with addiction. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.