Despite our associating addictions with crazy, out of control behavior, most addictions go unrecognized. Those who suffer from addictions often misinterpret their symptoms as a sign of some other problem. Health care professionals who are entrusted by society to identify such problems routinely fail to do so. When addictions are recognized, they are confined to substance use, which overlooks the wide array of activities that engage people in an addictive manner. Further, when addictions are detected, they are in their most advanced and difficult to treat phases. In large part this is due to the all or none way we think about addiction; either you are addicted or not. In reality, an addiction does not emerge fully formed; what starts out as just having fun, gradually, over time, becomes a problem. To limit the devastation created by late stage addictions and reap the benefits of early detection, this book provides questionnaires that screen for a wide array of chemical and behavioral addictions at all stages of development. Much in the same way we learned the early warning signs of cancer, this book explores different ways to recognize the early and often subtle signs of addiction.
Unlike cancer, where people rush to get treatment, facing an addiction is associated with guilt and ambivalence. To navigate these feelings and get help, the book provides a step-by-step guide for how to prepare the addicted person, be it oneself or someone else, to change an addiction.
Marilyn Freimuth is professor of clinical psychology at the Fielding Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where she specializes in substance abuse diagnosis and addiction treatment. She also maintains a private practice in Wisconsin.
Part 1 Part I - Getting to Know Addictions Chapter 2 The Problem: Recognizing Addictions When It's Too Late Chapter 3 The New Look of Addictions Chapter 4 The Making of an Addiction Chapter 5 The Continuum: Early to Late Stage Addiction Chapter 6 Addiction's Many Masks Chapter 7 Addiction's Self Disguises Chapter 8 Subtle Signs of Addiction Part 9 Part II - Unmasking Addictions Chapter 10 Unmasking Substance Addictions Chapter 11 Adolescent Substance Abuse: Experimentation or Addiction? Chapter 12 The Unseen Faces of Addiction: Older Adults and Women Chapter 13 Gambling Addiction Chapter 14 Computer Addiction Chapter 15 Sex and Cybersex Addictions Chapter 16 Buying Addiction Chapter 17 Exercise Addiction Part 18 Part III - Getting Help for an Addiction Chapter 19 Unmasking Addictions and Preparing for Change Chapter 20 Impediments to Effective Helping