A misconception surrounding addiction is that an individual exemplifies a lack of willpower. In many instances, it can be misconstrued as a character flaw. However, substance use disorder (or SUD) is medically defined as a disease, not unlike cancer or diabetes. Recovery from this recurring disease is no simple feat. Feeling hopeless about life in recovery can cause setbacks and even trigger relapse, but can be a part of the process of healing. Learn more about how to overcome negative feelings during treatment.
Committing to sobriety is a challenging and strenuous journey that can leave many doubting their ability to get through it. However, feeling hopeless about life (in recovery) is normal for many who suffer from SUD and it can be overcome. This article will discuss the emotional effects of addiction, how to recognize signs of hopelessness, and the best treatment.
How Are Mental Health & Addiction Linked?
Unfortunately, due to the common misconception, those suffering from substance use disorder experience bouts of hopelessness and self-criticism, even during the stages of recovery.
The link between mental health and addiction has been well documented and researched over the years. The reason for this significant connection is that both are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.
According to SAMHSA 2018, about 9.2 million adults who suffer from substance use disorder in the USA also have a co-occurring anxiety disorder due to the direct interaction that substances have on the central nervous system.
Some studies suggest that there may even be a genetic component to this relationship.
Feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress may be increased on developing a substance use disorder or manifested during stages of recovery as withdrawal symptoms. If you are feeling hopeless about life and also suffer from substance use disorder, this could be a sign of a co-occurring disorder. Whether you or someone you care for is experiencing these feelings, it’s critical that you seek help or treatment to help you get your life back on track. It’s not too late to seek advice, for more information contact AspenRidge Recovery directly at 855-281-5588.
Emotional Aspect of Addiction Recovery
Addiction is a complex disease that affects every aspect of a person’s life. It impacts physical, psychological, and social aspects of a person’s daily life. The emotional impact of addiction can be significantly difficult to deal with, especially when bouts of hopelessness are felt during the recovery process. There are 5 stages of recovery that are important to note.
These are classified as:
The final stage of maintenance requires continued motivation and perseverance. However, this can be a difficult stage to sustain especially if a person suffers from a co-occurring disorder as this can cause many to feel a strong sense of hopelessness. These emotions can cause craving and consequently increase the risk of relapse.
When recovering from addiction, people often feel hopeless because they do not know what to expect after completing treatment. Many people think that they will never live without addiction. They feel trapped in their own mind and body. If you or someone you care for is experiencing feelings of hopelessness, it is important to find support groups and other resources that can help you stay motivated and focused on recovery.
For more information on our services, please call us today at 855-281-5588.
The Impact on Mental Health During Recovery
Many factors contribute to the development of mental health issues and strong feelings of hopelessness. One of the significant driving factors can be down to experiencing tension and additional stresses in life. This can include:
- Financial problems
- Family conflicts
- Work-related issues
Another major factor can be a lack of self-worth which can lead to low self-esteem. Addressing these issues early on can prevent them from becoming long-lasting and destructive issues.
It is important to remember that while we all go through periods of change and struggle, we are still able to overcome these challenges and move forward towards a better future.
A good way to combat a feeling of hopelessness (in recovery) is to focus on the positive changes that have occurred since entering into recovery. Positive thinking and determination are two key elements that can help keep you moving forward towards a brighter future.
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder such as an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, or any other mental illness, then you may experience feelings of hopelessness.
Some people who have experienced a mental illness also suffer from substance abuse. Feelings hopeless about life can make it difficult to maintain sobriety. You should seek support and treatment to provide you with the necessary tools and resources to complete your journey to sobriety.
Recognizing Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people who have struggled with substance misuse developed coping strategies that helped them cope with stress and anxiety. The problem is, these strategies involve substance use. Hence, in the case of those in the recovery stages, it is common to experience bouts of emotional withdrawal symptoms due to no longer being able to deal with stresses in the way they may have used to.
Many experience emotional withdrawal symptoms when they begin recovery. It is important to recognize the signs of emotional withdrawal so that you or your loved one can get the help needed.
Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Feelings of sadness, depression, or hopelessness
- Feeling anxious or nervous
- Having trouble sleeping
- Craving substances
- Feeling irritable
- Losing interest in things
- Being unable to concentrate
- Feeling restless or agitated
- Having increased weight gain or loss
Ways to Combat Negative Thoughts
Dealing with overwhelming feelings and managing negative thoughts is essential to maintaining sobriety during recovery. There are many ways to manage stress and negative thoughts. Here are some suggestions:
- Practicing mindfulness
- Breathing exercises
If you’re struggling with emotional withdrawal symptoms and are finding it difficult to deal with overwhelm, it’s really important, to be honest, and transparent with your support network and to not sugar coat your feelings. The journey to sobriety is a really challenging one and it requires being able to lean on those that support you. Being able to establish open and honest communication can make all the difference.
Why Co-Occurring Treatment is More Effective
A more significant way of overcoming emotional withdrawal symptoms is to undergo treatment for co-occurring disorders. There are so many effective treatment plans available that work to not only support recovery from substance use disorder but also work to help individuals heal and recover from a co-occurring mental disorder.
Leading services such as AspenRidge Recovery offer a host of treatments from mental health and trauma treatment, to cognitive behavioral therapy. They offer dual diagnosis to provide clients with the best resources to aid full recovery. These treatments not only provide the resources and tools needed for maintaining sobriety, but they also provide extensive support to both the client and their family.
If you or a loved one are experiencing feelings of hopelessness about life or you’re looking for more information on dual diagnosis treatment, AspenRidge Recovery can help. Contact us today at 855-281-5588.