Doctors currently diagnose addictions under a category known as “substance-related and addictive disorders.”
The main symptom of an addiction is a problematic pattern of use, which leads to clinically significant impairment or distress.
The specific symptoms vary according to the addictive disorder.
A person with a substance use disorder finds it difficult to control their use of a specific substance. They continue using a substance or engaging in addictive behavior, even though they might be aware of the harm it can cause or when clear evidence of harm is apparent.
Powerful cravings also characterize addiction. The individual may not be able to stop partaking of the addictive substance or behavior despite expressing a desire to quit.
The signs and symptoms of substance use disorder can vary with the individual, the substance or behavior they are overusing, their family history, and their personal circumstances.