Sep 16

Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Trauma in Addiction

Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Trauma in Addiction

Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Trauma in Addiction. trauma in addiction

Although often overlooked, emotional, physical, and sexual trauma lies at the heart of many types of addictions. Our recognition of trauma in addiction as a root cause for it isn’t new. Since the 1970s, treatment professionals have understood the role of trauma in addiction development through substance abuse disorders and relapse.

In recent years, however, there has been resurgence in awareness and therefore treatment of trauma in addiction services by way of focusing on dual diagnosis, or as co-occurring disorders.

Overall, it is generally accepted that a history of childhood emotional neglect, sexual, or physical abuse is common among people undergoing treatment for alcoholism and may be a factor in the development of alcohol use disorders as well as addictions to other substances and behavioral addictions such as sex addiction, gambling, and food addiction.

Trauma Defined

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), defines trauma broadly as a stress that “causes physical or emotional harm from which you cannot remove yourself.” Furthermore, trauma is subjective, which means that the individual’s internal beliefs and their sensitivity to stress, is truly what defines a person’s experience as traumatic; it is not up to a therapist, family member, or any other outsider to decide whether or not an experience was traumatic.

Trauma can be from abuse or neglect but, it can also be from other frightening experiences, such as a car accident, bullying, sudden life change or near-death experience. Trauma can also be experienced either firsthand or witnessed. Other traumatic experiences include growing up in a home with an alcoholic or addicted parent or even any other home life where children are told to bury their feelings. Because of the trauma, the person experiences intense fear or helplessness, and this can lead to serious long-term struggles with depression, anxiety, and furthermore, trauma in addiction becomes evident with the development of addictive or impulsive behaviors.

Findings on Trauma in Addiction

Compared to the general population, which has physical abuse rates of 8.4%, the rate for alcoholics has been reported at 24% for men and 33% for women. The rate of sexual abuse in the general population is about 6%, yet the rate for alcoholics is at 12% for men and 49% for women. Rates of childhood emotional abuse and neglect are likely to be just as prevalent among alcoholics as physical and sexual abuse but it is difficult to know for sure because this type of abuse is often underreported.

Relationship: Trauma in Addiction

In some cases, addiction develops in the trauma in addiction development stems from an attempt to self-medicate. It is painful to think about the trauma and some people relive the traumatic event or event even on a daily basis and therefore they will turn to drugs, alcohol, or certain behaviors in order to escape or numb their feelings: fear, powerlessness, depression, and anxiety.

Drug use also serves to may allow people to disconnect from their feelings, numb their feelings of guilt or rage, feel relaxed or in control, as well as cope with or reduce anxiety or suicidal thinking. Another noteworthy aspect of trauma in addiction is that many people get a feeling of camaraderie or acceptance from other drug users, so, in some ways they are reproducing the family unit, again, in a dysfunctional way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/

Sep 09

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 things you may not know about women and alcoholBoth men and women drink but men and women are different when it comes to alcohol. Moderate drinking has been touted to have some pretty significant health benefits for your cardiovascular system. And this can be great for people who want to unwind over dinner. But as most of us know the dangers of alcohol especially for women outweigh the benefits. It is especially important for women to be aware of these dangers because they are different than men. When it comes to women and alcohol, it poses specific risks.

Here are 5 things you may not know about women and alcohol

Women and alcohol #1: More women are binge drinking. Binge drinking is the exact opposite of moderate drinking. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in a single period. Most women binge drinking today average about six drinks. According to the CDC earlier this year, nearly 14 million women in the United States binge drink around three times a month. Not only that but women with an income over 75,000 dollars a year are more likely to binge as well as women who are between the ages of 18 and 34. High school girls are also more likely to binge. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 teenage girls binge drink. Binge drinking is dangerous it can cause unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, liver disease and stroke.

Women and alcohol #2: Many women may think keeping up with the guys when it comes to dinking is no big deal, but that just isn’t true. Women’s bodies tolerate alcohol differently than men’s for reasosn that aren’t quite understood yet. NIAA or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism points out that it could be that women’s bodies have less water per pound than men’s. So if a man and woman who weigh the same amount also drink the same amount, the woman will likely have a higher BAC because the alcohol disperses in water and her body has less of it.

Women and alcohol #3: Drinking becomes a problem for women quicker. This is largely because wmen;s bodies handle alcohol differently than men’s. Because of this difference women are more likely to be at risk for alcohol related health problems. These risks include health disease and conditions that include liver disease, heart disease, breast cancer and also alcohol dependence. NIAA considers the low risk drinking limit for women as being seven drinks per week and no more than three drinks in one sitting.

Women and alcohol #4: A German study published last year found that alcoholism may be deadlier in women. It concluded that alcohol dependence is twice as deadly for women as it is for men. The death rate for alcohol dependent women was four time that of a sample of comparable non-addicted 18 to 64 year old women. It was only double for men. The why of this is still unknown but it is assumed that the effect of alcohol on women is much more severe.

Women and alcohol #5: Luckily women seek treatment for alcoholism sooner. A study that included more than 500 males and females found that women who abuse alcohol usually try to get help four to five years earlier than their male counterparts. The why of this is also unknown but it is hypothesized that women may attach less social stigma to drinking problems than men and therefore might be more likely to report their problem drinking.

There are also studies that have been done that show that drinking in women ups the risk of breast cancer and that NO AMOUNT of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Those facts are pretty well known though. Regardless of the reasons it might be safe to go ahead and say that women are better off just not drinking unless they are going to drink moderately.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/women-alcohol-facts_n_3831152.html?utm_hp_ref=womens-health

Sep 02

Binge Drinking and Depression

Binge Drinking and Depression

When people are feeling depressed many of them view alcohol as a comfort or stress reliever. In the beginning alcohol may even feel like it is making life easier but it is actually concealing a terrible truth. Alcohol can only make depression worse never better. This is because alcohol is known as a depressant. This means that alcohol depresses arousal levels and reduces excitability.  Alcohol can not only worsen symptoms of depression but it can also cause depression in the first place. Alcohol induced depression is very common among people who engage in binge drinking.

What are the different kinds of depression?

  • Minor depression that lasts a few days.
  • Major depression lasts longer than two weeks, and the symptoms can be highly disruptive in the individual’s life. This can be referred to more technically as Dysthymic disorder.
  • Alcohol induced depression.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that people experience due to the change of season. This condition is most common in those countries where there is a long dark winter.
  • Some women experience postpartum depression after they have a baby. The cause of this will be hormonal changes in the body.
  • A psychotic depression is where people also experience distorted thinking that has a psychotic nature. This is the most serious type of depression because the individual may be a danger to themselves or other people.
  • Those individuals who are dealing with bipolar disorder will have periods where they suffer from the symptoms of depression – this may then be followed by period of mania.

What are the symptoms of depression?

  • They feel drained of energy
  • Inability to sleep at night.
  • Turning to food for comfort. Alternatively the individual may completely lose their interest in food.
  • Problems with forgetfulness.
  • The individual may find it a real struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
  • The activities they once enjoyed no longer feel satisfying.
  • Pessimism about the future.
  • They may feel guilty about things that happened in the past.
  • Body aches and pains that seem to have no obvious cause.
  • Difficulties with concentration.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse. This includes dangerous patterns of consumption such as binge drinking.
  • The individual feels irritable much of the time.
  • The feeling that life lacks any real meaning or purpose.
  • Low self esteem – the person may believe that they deserve to feel the way they do.
  • Thoughts of committing suicide.
  • Feeling disassociated from the world.
  • The individual may feel like there is a barrier between them and other people.
  • They do not feel like socializing. The individual may begin to isolate and avoid other people.
  • A sad nostalgia for the past.

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking refers to a specific type of drinking that is particularly dangerous. Binge drinking is a type of drinking where the individual deliberately becomes intoxicated by consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a very short period of time. Bing drinking is usually a pattern of drinking most people only engage in on the weekends but it is still a form of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking is actually the most common form of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking means that the individual is deliberately trying to get drunk and this can cause all sorts of problems and trouble. It is not necessary for people to drink every day in order to suffer consequences from alcohol abuse; binge drinking just on weekends can easily cause consequences. What are the dangers of binge drinking?

  • It can lead to symptoms of depression. It can also exacerbate existent depressive symptoms.
  • Alcohol is damaging to every organ in the body. It is not necessary to be a daily drinker before entering the early stages of alcoholic liver disease.
  • The individual will be more likely to commit crimes or become a victim of crimes when they are intoxicated.
  • It can easily lead on to alcoholism. The vast majority of alcoholics will have started off as binge drinkers.
  • It can lead to alcohol poisoning. Some people have died because their blood alcohol content reached levels that were excessively high.
  • This is the pattern of drinking that is most likely to cause hangovers.
  • Some people will experience blackouts when binge drinking. This means that there will be parts of the evening that they cannot remember.
  • It can mean that people are unable to take care of their family, social, and work commitments the next day.
  • When people are intoxicated they can do things that they later deeply regret.
  • Binge drinking is associated with domestic violence.
  • It is also associated with promiscuous and unsafe sex.
  • People will make irrational and impulsive decisions when they are inebriated.
  • Many people who commit suicide will have been binge drinking beforehand.

Binge drinking and depression

  • There are number of reasons why binge drinking causes depression to get much worse. For instance, as mentioned above alcohol is a depressant. There is also the fact that if the person is already depressed then it means they are binge drinking to run or hid from their condition instead of treat it. This obviously makes things much worse in the long run.
  • A person who is binge drinking often will regret what they did while they were drunk. This means they will have more things that are eating away at them.
  • Binge drinking makes people more impulsive. If the person is already feeling depressed then they may engage in behaviors they might not normally consider doing while sober.
  • Binge drinking will cause the person to have less self-control. This mixed with the fact that they have a reduced decision making capacity makes someone with depression a high risk for suicide.
  • Binge drinking often means that he individual might often have problems with family members and loved ones. This can make depression worse trying to deal with that.
  • Binge drinking will make an individual less capable of handling the symptoms of depression. This is because alcohol is a toxin that harms the body and mind.

When people with depression begin binge drinking they can get caught up in a vicious cycle. The symptoms of their depression make life unbearable and so they binge drink as a type of self-medication. When they do that they will feel better in the moment but the binge drinking is actually making the depression worse as listed above. This means when they sober up now their depression is even worse than it as before and causes the person to want to drink even more. This leads to a cycle of wanting to escape through binge drinking while the binge drinking causes more reasons to want to drink due to the worsening depression.

Aug 09

How to Beat the Relapse Statistics

How to Beat the Relapse Statistics

The drug and alcohol relapse rehab statistics for relapse are disheartening and discouraging. Drug and alcohol relapse statistics show that the percentage of people who will relapse after a period of recovery ranges from 50 to 90 percent. This is a scary relapse statistic and it is often used as a justification for addicts and alcoholics who don’t want to stop using drugs or drinking. What the relapse statistics don’t tell though is that there are things that an individual can do to greatly increase their chances of long-term recovery. People who are serious about aftercare greatly increase their chances of staying sober.  Aftercare can include everything from a 12 step fellowship, staying in a halfway house and going to groups. This is good news because this means there are ways to beat the relapse statistics. Here are some ways on how to beat the relapse statistics:

Despite the fact that relapse statistics pretty much say that half of all drug addicts and alcoholics are going to relapse there are many people who escape addiction and go on to build a great life. Anyone can beat the relapse statistics by taking some action.

  • Addicts and alcoholics need to prepare to go back home in order to have a good shot at beating the relapse statistics.
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes to stay sober can significantly help addicts and alcoholics to beat the relapse statistics. If people are not fully motivated they will struggle to make it through the early months of recovery.
  • It is vital that newly sober people take their aftercare seriously if they want to beat the relapse statistics. By joining a 12 step group or using some other type of support they will be greatly increasing their chances of success.
  • When people give up an addiction they need to break away from their drinking and drugging buddies. Failure to do this puts the individual’s sobriety at risk and they could fall victim to relapse statistics.
  • Staying sober has to be the priority in the person’s life if they want to beat the relapse statistics. They should not allow anything to come in between them and their sobriety.
  • It is important that people avoid turning to other maladaptive behaviors in recovery such as working a lot, spending, sex etc. This causes many people to become another relapse statistic.
  • Keeping an open mind is a necessary element of a successful recovery. Beginner’s mind means that the individual doesn’t allow their preconceived notions get in the way of trying new things.
  • The idea that relapse is acceptable should never enter the thinking of people who are trying to stay sober. A return to alcohol or drugs is a risk and there is no guarantee that the individual will ever get another chance at a life away from alcohol and drugs. While the relapse statistics are high they aren’t an indicator of how many people make it back and that its ok or normal to relapse.
  • Recovery is to be enjoyed and not endured. If the individual feels like they are serving a prison sentence it is a sign that they are doing something wrong and chances are they will become part of the relapse statistics.

 

Aug 02

Trauma and Substance Abuse

Trauma and Substance Abuse

Some people increase their use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to cope with how they are feeling after experiencing trauma. This is often called ‘self-medication.’ While this often gives some short-term relief, unfortunately, in the long run it can make things worse. Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use can interfere with the brain’s natural processing of the trauma and substance abuse patterns can then take root.

People often say that when they reduce or stop drinking, smoking or using, their trauma reactions become more frequent or intense. This is the body‘s way of saying that the trauma is unfinished business that needs to be dealt with. Some people find that they develop alcohol, tobacco or other drug problems because they need to drink or use greater amounts more frequently to keep the trauma reactions at bay. This can lead to a cycle where reactions to trauma and alcohol, tobacco or other drug use feed off each other.

Trauma is an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury or threat to one’s physical safety. Trauma also refers to directly experienced, witnessed or learned about events. So, even if the traumatic event didn’t happen to you, if you heard about a traumatic event that affected someone else, especially someone close to you, you could still feel traumatized.

Traumatic Events Experienced Directly

• Military combat

• Natural or manmade disaster

• Being kidnapped

• Being taken hostage

• Terrorist attack

• Torture

• Concentration camp internee

• Severe auto accidents

• Violent personal assault such as sexual or physical (i.e. mugging), or psychological (i.e. robbery)

• Life threatening illness

• Prisoner of War

Traumatic Events Witnessed

• Violent assault

• Accident

• War

• Disaster

• Unexpected witnessing a dead body or remains

Traumatic Events Experienced or Learned About (Family Member or Close Friend)

• Violent personal assault

• Serious accident

• Serious injury experienced

• Sudden, unexpected death

• Your child has a life-threatening disease

Trauma and Substance Abuse: Why It Is Counter-Productive to Self-Medicate

Using drugs to deal with trauma only provides temporary relief, if any at all; and in fact makes things worse. Rather than calming nerves, alcohol and other drugs can actually increase both anxiety and fears, intensify and exaggerate emotions and long term use can even cause emotional stagnation. Substance abuse to treat trauma often blocks necessary psychological processing and can prevent or delay the natural completion of the grieving process. Drug use often results in a lower functioning capacity resulting in poor choices and poor decisions and even behavioral dysfunction. Substance abuse can disrupt sleep, especially stage four (or deep sleep), and it can increase nightmares and make them more vivid and believable, leading to an even more fragile mental state.

Trauma and Substance Abuse Treatment

The fact that there is a connection between trauma and substance abuse has been known for decades by professionals treating people who experience both trauma and substance abuse.

Clinical studies of patients in substance abuse treatment programs have shown a high correlation with a client history of trauma. Model programs are being developed that seek to treat these both trauma and substance abuse in an integrated fashion.

 

Sources:

http://www.samhsa.gov/

http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/

Jul 22

How to Control Binge Eating

How to Control Binge Eating

What is Binge Eating?

Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, overeating crosses the line to binge-eating disorder and it becomes a regular occurrence, and is usually done in secret.

When you have binge-eating disorder, you may be deeply embarrassed about gorging and vow to stop. But you feel such a compulsion that you can’t resist the urges and continue binge eating. If you have binge-eating disorder, treatment can help.

Causes of Binge Eating

The causes of binge-eating disorder are unknown. But family history, biological factors, long-term dieting and psychological issues, such as those resulting from childhood trauma and/or abuse, increase your risk. Many studies have documented a link between childhood abuse and later obesity. The reasoning for this is possibly because stress may cause one to overeat high-sugar and high-fat “comfort” foods in an uncontrolled way.Women who have experienced physical or sexual childhood abuse before the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to have a food addiction in the middle of adulthood in comparison with women without a history of childhood abuse. The likelihood of a food addiction is also increased further for women who have experienced both physical and sexual childhood abuse. The prevalence of afood addiction varies from six percent in women without a history of physical or sexual childhood abuse to sixteen percent among women who do have a history of both severe physical and sexual childhood abuse.

How to Control Binge Eating

Traditional Treatments:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, whether in individual or group sessions, can help teach you how to exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones and reduce bingeing episodes.

Medications

There’s no medication specifically designed to treat binge-eating disorder. But, several types of medication may help reduce symptoms, especially when combined with psychotherapy.

 

Other Ways to Control Binge Eating

Lifestyle and home remedies

  • Stick to your treatment. Don’t skip therapy sessions.
  • Avoid dieting. Trying to diet can trigger more binge episodes, leading to a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
  • Eat breakfast. Many people with binge-eating disorder skip breakfast. But, if you eat breakfast, you may be less prone to eating higher calorie meals later in the day.
  • Don’t stock up. Keep less food in your home than you normally do. That may mean more-frequent trips to the grocery store, but it may also take away the temptation binge eating.
  • Get the right nutrients. Just because you may be eating a lot during binges doesn’t mean you’re eating the kinds of food that supply all of your essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Stay connected. Don’t isolate yourself from caring family members and friends who want to see you get healthy.
  • Get active. Ask your health care provider what kind of physical activity is appropriate for you, especially if you have health problems related to being overweight.

 

Alternative Medicine to Treat Binge Eating

  • Massage and therapeutic touch
  • Mind-body therapies
  • Acupuncture

 

Coping and Support to Deal with Binge Eating

  • Ease up on yourself. Don’t buy into your own self-criticism.
  • Identify situations that may trigger your binge eating.
  • Look for positive role models who can help lift your self-esteem, even if they’re not easy to find.
  • Try to find a confidant you can talk to about what’s going on. Together, you may be able to come up with some treatment options.
  • Try to find someone who can be your partner in the battle against binge eating — someone you can call on for support instead of bingeing.
  • Find healthy ways to nurture yourself by doing something just for fun or to relax, such as yoga, meditation or simply a walk.
  • Consider journaling about your feelings and behaviors.

 

Support for binge eating can also come from a 12 Step fellowship. There are meetings for Overeaters Anonymous. The 12 Step program can be helpful in learning how to cope with your food addiction and binge eating and also in shaping a new, healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself struggling to cope, there are treatment programs that treat eating disorders such as binge eating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com

www.wikipedia.org

http://womenstreatmentcenter.com

Jul 15

Women in Recovery

Women in Recovery

Here is a fun fact about women in recovery, Marty Mann, NCADD’s founder, was the first woman to recover from alcoholism in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  As a result, NCADD has always been dedicated to increasing public awareness and support for women struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs. 

Women are the fastest-growing segment for substance abuse in the United States. In fact, according to the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, about 2.7 million women in the United States abuse drugs or alcohol. Even more frightening is that the majority who need treatment do not receive it because:

•They are afraid of losing, or being separated from, their families

•They view their substance use as a social activity or habit, rather than an addiction that is disrupting their lives

•They believe that their substance abuse is the outcome of anxiety or depression, treating the mental health issue while ignoring the addiction

•They are afraid or embarrassed to admit they are struggling with addiction, and hide their drug or alcohol use from family and friends

There are special issues that women face in addiction treatment and recovery. The traditional wisdom of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that women progress faster in addiction. Now the research is telling us the “why” and more importantly “what” can be done to assist women in recovery.

Women start using for different reasons, get addicted differently, progress faster, recovery differently and relapse for different issues. Due to shame and stigma, women may be more likely to drink/take pills when alone and hide it from others. Some women have their home as their bar and may have three martini play dates with their friends and their children. Those with stressful careers may use to keep up the image that they can raise three kids, have a high power job and still keep up! With the stimulant drugs some women start using to lose weight. While many women are high functioning and may be able to keep up the appearance of being fine they are unraveling on the inside.

Physiologically women metabolize alcohol and drugs differently than men. Physically one drink for a woman has twice the impact physiologically on a woman that it does on a man. That’s not just about getting drunk, that’s impact to the organs, to the brain. Mixing types of drugs makes it even more damaging. When mixing chemicals one and one is not necessarily two. Women also tend to have more access to prescribers of medications which can make it even more dangerous. Yes, there is physical damage but it may pale in comparison to the emotional and spiritual damage done by addiction. When a woman is addicted it can impact the entire family system – since women are generally the central organizing factors in their network (caregiver to aging parent, parent to children, caregiver of older partner, etc).

Women are complicated! In addition a female’s distinctive physiology, mental health issues, hormonal differences, spiritual concerns and as well as life circumstances may affect their experience in addiction and recovery. Treatment and recovery are most successful when these individualized needs are taken into account. The good news is that recovery is natural for women. Addiction is the unnatural state. The female brain is actually wired for connection! Many women find that the support of 12 Step programs and other support groups are exactly what they need to live a life free of chemicals. Recovery is the most critical part of an addict’s journey and many find that in recovery they have a life beyond their wildest dreams.

 

 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/remarkable-recovery/201203/addiction-and-gender-recovery-women

Jun 21

What is Drug Treatment?

What is Drug Treatment?

Drug treatment is a broad term for all the things that are available to us in order to find recovery. Drug treatment consists of drug rehabs, 12-step programs, halfway houses, intensive outpatient programs, and even spirituality. Anything that treats our drug addiction can be categorized as drug treatment.

The first step to begin drug treatment if you want to follow a road that is going to be almost 100% successful is to find the right drug treatment center. Decide where you are willing to travel, if you are willing to travel at all, figure out what kind of insurance you have if you have any at all, and what kind of drug treatment center you want. Drug treatment centers can differ. They can range from long term residential, to detox, to a halfway house. Look at what you want out of your drug treatment. Can you spend 30, 60, 90 days in treatment? Do you want it to be 12-step program based or maybe Christian based? There are a lot of questions that go into picking drug treatment. Make sure you don’t rush into a drug treatment center blind.

The second step to drug treatment after you have picked an actual drug treatment center is to get involved in a 12-step fellowship outside of a treatment center. It’s going to be imperative to decide if you travel to your drug treatment center on whether or not you are going to relocate to that area or head back home after your time at the drug treatment center is over. If you plan to stay it’s good to start going to the local AA and NA meetings in the area to start building a support network of friends and sober supports. If you plan to go home its best if you look up some meetings that are in your area and also start to attend them and reach out. Any kind of support is good.

 

Jun 10

Lack of Self-Love in Addiction

Lack of Self-Love in Addiction

A lack of self-love in addiction is very common. But how do you know if you have a lack of self-love? Many times addicts don’t realize that they have a lack of self-love because they are so comfortable with their negative thoughts, perception, and degrading self-talk. Addiction causes many people to go against what they know is right and this can cause a lot of inner turmoil and hate. They do things that create guilt and shame within themselves and begin to dislike themselves. When this happens addicts can also begin to think they aren’t even worthy of love due to all the harm they are causing around them, as well as the fact that they can’t stop hurting themselves and others even when they want to. They may think of themselves as inherently bad or evil.

So what is self-love?

Self-love is not the vain love of egoism and narcissism that many people mistake it with. Self-love isn’t a preoccupation with one’s self and a general disregard for other. Self-love also isn’t the same as the love you would have family and friends or the love of art, travel, or music. Self-love is a kind of acceptance and unconditional sense of support and caring as well as a core of compassion towards yourself. It is the willingness to meet your own needs; allowing yourself to feel and thinking whatever you feel and think without judgment and to also see yourself as worthy, good, valuable and belonging in the world; deserving of happiness.

Struggling to develop self-love after addiction

For addicts with a lack of self-love, gaining self-love can seem like an impossible task. No matter how hard they try, no matter how many times they hear how good they are from others they just can’t believe it. Someone will tell them how amazing are and their head will be say to them, if you knew who I really was you wouldn’t say that. Addicts may be able to convince themselves in their mind that they love themselves but they don’t feel it in their body or soul. What they feel instead deep down may be shame, despair, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, confusion and anything but love, happiness and peace.

How to develop self-love

Luckily there are ways for anyone including addicts with a lack of self-love to begin to develop self-love as part of their recovery from addiction. Some simple ways to develop self-love without the use of professional help are thing such as positive affirmations, watching thoughts, and doing positive things for themselves such as yoga, working out, taking care of their bodies etc. Unfortunately a lack of self-love in addiction can be deep rooted and will need professional help to develop. Most addicts are unable to love themselves because they have a distorted thought process. With cognitive behavioral therapies they can focus on correcting their distorted thoughts and this can improve a person’s ability to love them and develop compassion. A good therapist can sort out what the lack of self-love is from and begin to help the addict change that.

May 29

Why should I go to rehab?

Why should I go to rehab?

Why should I go to rehab?

If you’re asking yourself this question, chances are there are a lot of reasons for you to go to rehab. The first time I asked myself was long before my family intervened and sent me to rehab; long before I had failed out of school and lost my job. I would’ve saved myself a lot of pain and consequences if I had just gone to rehab then.

The reason I didn’t go to rehab was due to both pride and procrastination. I had convinced myself that I didn’t need it. I would quit on my own…tomorrow. I told myself I had responsibilities. I had a job; I was in school. I had bills to pay. I didn’t think I was a “real” addict.

Why should I go to rehab? Signs that it’s time

If you cannot make it through the day without a drug or a drink, you should go to rehab. If the thought of making it through the day without a substance scares you, you should go to rehab. If you have been charged with a crime due to your addiction, you should go to rehab. If you have lost employment, loved ones, or sold belongings to get drugs and alcohol, it’s time to get help. If you are selling drugs so that you will have drugs available to you, you should go to rehab.

Why should I go to rehab? Benefits of treatment

If you do decide to go to rehab, you have a much better chance of staying sober in the long term. Going to rehab gives you a window of opportunity to stay sober. Some people (I was one of them) cannot even string together a few days on their own. When you go to rehab, you will be in a safe place for a period of time that can give you a baseline of abstinence. Also, when you go to rehab, you will not have to face the dreaded withdrawal symptoms on your own. You will be given medication so that you are safe and comfortable during the withdrawal process. This is important because many people end up relapsing during the withdrawal stage if they try to do it on their own, just to relieve the discomfort from quitting drugs and alcohol.

Also, when you go to rehab, you will have the opportunity to create a new network of positive people in your life. Most of us had people in active addiction that we used to drink or get high with, and these relationships will need to be replaced if we are to have a genuine shot at staying clean in recovery

Why should I go to rehab? What to seek in a treatment center

When you decide to go to rehab, it can be difficult to decide where to go. The best treatment centers normally offer a variety of programs to meet each client’s individual needs. Also, consider the cost and what you can afford when you go to rehab. Many insurance policies will cover a stay in a treatment center, so check with your provider first. If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford a high-cost rehab, look for rehabs that offer a sliding scale payment option.