Do you say these things? "I'm not addicted. It's just a really bad habit."

I can't tell you how many times we hear people say, "I'm not addicted. It's just a really bad habit. I can quit anytime." I always feel very confused by this. Let's see...You're sitting in front of a therapist, telling them how unmanageable your life is. Your wife is leaving you, your kids can't stand you, and you're in financial ruin due to your "habit". And you can quit anytime but you've chosen not to??? That doesn't make sense! We hear it a lot.

Yes, we all have habits, but an addiction is something causing distress in your life in your relationships, with your job, financially etc. A bad habit is biting your nails, chewing your food with your mouth open, or saying "um" when you speak. Those are bad habits.

Addictions are difficult to stop because they serve a purpose, fill a void in our life, and give us some type of pleasure, usually, immediate gratification. Habits we do without thinking about.

So, have you found yourself saying this? Ever say it in defense to a spouse who is hurt by your behaviors? You might be struggling with an addiction. It is so important to get help and support to stop an addiction. Habits we can break with some behavior modification techniques. But addictions require help.

Thank you for reading. Tomorrow Joleen will discuss one more dysfunctional saying.

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.