If you’re struggling to overcome a bad habit and wonder if it could be an addiction, ask yourself this question: Are you dealing with an irresistible impulse, or an impulse not resisted?

“That is the difference between addiction and choice,” Dr. Phil explains.

For addicts, an irresistible impulse often drives their behavior, and may be caused by a deep-rooted issue that needs to be addressed.

“Oftentimes, maladaptive behavior begins for one reason and continues for a whole separate set of reasons,” he adds. “It can get to become a coping skill.”

In those cases, breaking an addiction may need treatment on several levels.

“It’s going to require an intervention at a neurological level and it’s going to require an intervention at an emotional level,” Dr. Phil says. “You can ‘white knuckle’ it for a period of time, but your brain will take you back there. That has to be dealt with.”

If you’re ready to break an addiction, get started with these seven steps.