Signs of Aggression as a Symptom of Addiction

People can react in very specific, but very different, ways when confronted by someone who wishes to do them harm. Sometimes the reaction a person has can result in worse consequences for themselves than to the person who was trying to hurt them However, some people may show extreme reactions in a situation where there is only a perceived idea of threat, or even for no reason at all.

For individuals suffering from addiction, being aggressive can be a result of substances taking over their direct thinking process, or as a result of them not having access to their substance of abuse.

Aggression as a symptom of addiction manifests with different signs and symptoms. Early discovery and treatment can help prevent further damage. Aggressive individuals should be handled with caution, especially if the aggression is related to substance abuse, as more harm could be done either to themselves or to their loved ones. Here are some of the telltale signs that suggest your loved one is behaving in an aggressive manner as often related to addiction:

  • Threatening behaviour (biting, bullying, hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing another person, oneself or an object).
  • Destroying property (exhibiting a destructive attitude with little or no provocation).
  • Self-isolation and social withdrawal.
  • Gossiping, name-calling, and spreading rumours or lies about another person.
  • Yelling.
  • Having difficulty calming down after exerting aggressive behavior.
  • Disorientation, loss of memory/focus.
  • Anxiety and moodiness.
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making.
  • Poor communication skills.
  • Trouble with language comprehension, writing or reading.

When to See a Professional for Aggression

Aggression as a sign of addiction can be seen through injuries to the individual and/or the people around them. Every individual should talk to a doctor when they notice any of the telltale signs in themselves or in a loved one. Early reporting will help avert other dangerous effects, such as suicidal thoughts, or thoughts of murder.

Many people get aggressive when they do not get what they want, at the slightest provocation by an external object/person, or deliberately as a means to satisfy their anger.

Though there are other causes of aggression, always speak with a doctor to better understand the root cause before undertaking any treatment. A doctor will diagnose and recommend treatment suitable for each individual, and when the cause is substance abuse, appropriate measures must be taken.

A word of caution: avoid direct contact with an aggressive individual if they are holding any dangerous objects.

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