Addiction is a complex and challenging condition that affects millions of people worldwide, including many in India. The societal pressures, cultural expectations, and rapid urbanization in India can contribute to the rise of addiction. Recognizing when you need professional help is a crucial step towards recovery. Psychological support can provide the necessary tools and strategies to overcome addiction and regain control of your life. Here are five signs that indicate you may need psychological help to deal with addiction, with a focus on the Indian context.

Addiction arises from a combination of genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors. A family history of addiction can increase the risk, as certain genetic predispositions make individuals more susceptible to addictive behaviors. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress often accompany addiction, and in India, high academic and professional pressures can exacerbate these issues. Societal norms and cultural expectations can normalize substance use within certain social circles, while stigma around mental health can prevent early intervention. Additionally, rapid urbanization, changing lifestyles, economic disparities, and peer pressure, especially among the youth, contribute to the development of addiction.


1. Loss of Control Over Substance Use

One of the most telling signs that you need psychological help is a loss of control over your substance use. In India, where alcohol and drug use can be culturally stigmatized, it might be challenging to admit to such issues, but recognizing them is the first step towards recovery.

  • Frequent Cravings: Experiencing intense cravings or urges to use the substance regularly. This can include not only alcohol and drugs but also prescription medication abuse.
  • Failed Attempts to Quit: Multiple unsuccessful attempts to stop using the substance on your own, despite wanting to, often due to the pressure to maintain a facade of control.


2. Neglecting Responsibilities and Relationships

Addiction often leads to neglect of responsibilities at work, school, or home. It can also strain relationships with family and friends, which are particularly significant in the Indian context, where family bonds and societal expectations are strong.

  • Decline in Performance: Noticeable decline in work or academic performance due to substance use, which can be particularly detrimental given the competitive nature of Indian education and job markets.
  • Relationship Strain: Frequent arguments, loss of trust, or distancing from loved ones as a result of your addiction. This can be especially painful in a society where family reputation and social standing are highly valued.


3. Physical and Psychological Health Issues

Substance abuse can take a severe toll on both your physical and mental health. If you notice a decline in your overall well-being, it may be a sign that you need help.

  • Physical Health Problems: Issues such as weight loss, frequent illnesses, or injuries related to substance use. In India, traditional remedies might be sought first, but recognizing the need for professional medical help is crucial.
  • Mental Health Issues: Increased anxiety, depression, mood swings, or other psychological symptoms linked to substance use. With growing awareness, psychological counselling for addictions is becoming more accessible in India, through both therapy initiatives and private sectors.


4. Engaging in Risky Behaviors

Addiction often leads individuals to engage in risky behaviors that they wouldn’t normally consider. This can include dangerous activities to obtain the substance or using it in hazardous situations.

  • Risky Activities: Driving under the influence, unsafe sexual practices, or engaging in illegal activities to procure the substance. In India, this can also include social and legal consequences that may further complicate the situation.
  • Self-Harm or Suicidal Thoughts: Engaging in self-harm or experiencing thoughts of suicide as a result of addiction. This is an area where immediate psychological counselling for addictions is essential, and organisations can provide support.


5. Isolation and Withdrawal from Activities

A sign that you need psychological help is withdrawing from social activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed. Addiction can lead to isolation as you prioritize substance use over other aspects of your life.

  • Social Withdrawal:  Avoiding social gatherings and interactions to use the substance. In a country like India, where social interactions and community participation are integral, this withdrawal can be particularly noticeable and impactful.
  • Loss of Interest: Losing interest in activities and hobbies that you once found enjoyable, which can lead to a significant decrease in quality of life and happiness.


Psychological counselling plays a critical role in treating addiction. In India, psychological counsellors and therapists provide a supportive environment where individuals can explore the underlying causes of their addiction and develop effective coping strategies. Counselling approaches are increasingly available and can be tailored to address the unique cultural and social dynamics of Indian patients. Counselling not only helps in managing cravings and preventing relapse but also aids in rebuilding self-esteem, improving relationships, and enhancing overall mental health.

Recognizing these signs is the first step towards recovery from addiction. In India, where cultural and societal pressures can both exacerbate and conceal the problem, seeking psychological help is crucial. Therapy based organizations in Mumbai, such as Another Light Counselling, help create a safe space for all kinds of therapy and a judgement free zone for anyone who needs it.

Building hope and relativity, remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. By reaching out for professional support, you are taking a brave step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. Recovery is a journey, and with determination and the right resources, you can overcome addiction and build a brighter future.