Addiction and Isolation: The interaction of the two
Suffering from addiction is one of the loneliest feelings you can imagine. There used to be a stigma surrounding substance abuse, addiction, and other mental health disorders, which is why someone can feel alone. There was a false perception that people brought addiction on themselves and no one was brave enough to talk about it.
Fortunately, the veil has been lifted and the general public is educated enough to know addiction is just as serious as any other illness and affects millions of people. Loneliness and isolation seem to remain common amongst addicts and can make the addiction and any other underlying mental health issues much worse. Therefore, there are a few important points that people who suffer from addiction need to know.
Why Do Addicts Isolate in Addiction?
One of the first questions people often ask when it comes to addiction is why people with this disease isolate in the first place. People who end up addicted to alcohol or drugs are using these substances to cope with other issues that might be unfolding in their lives. People use alcohol and drugs to cope with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and more. They’re using these drugs and other substances to hide from their feelings and escape from reality. Some of the feelings they often experience include fear, guilt, and denial. These emotions can quickly build and lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.
It’s this feeling of helplessness that’s associated with the actions above that drives people to isolate. If an individual has suffered from verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, the feelings can be much more intense. Isolation can lead to broken relationships and make the addict feel even more alone. This cycle can have a terrible impact on someone who needs to recover.
Why is This So Bad?
Isolation can lead to serious problems. During isolation, people can feel like they can’t connect with others on an emotion or physical level. They feel disconnected from the outside world. Side effects of this are depression and can worsen the impacts that come with substance abuse. Some people might even feel like there is nobody who cares about them and feel total despair.
As a result, people won’t feel motivated to reach out and ask for help. People do have the capacity to beat addiction; however, they cannot do this on their own. They need to admit they have a problem and ask for help.
How Can Someone Get Help?
Trying to get out of the cycle of loneliness and isolation requires work on the addict’s behalf. First, they’ll need to grieve their separation from drugs and alcohol. When someone is struggling with addiction, the only friends they seem to have are drugs and alcohol. Therefore, it’s normal for someone to experience somewhat of a grieving process as long as they know this friendship was toxic and destructive.
Then, they need to reach out and talk to family members and friends. Make amends with them. Generate peace with them. The people who have always been there are going to continue to be there no matter what. These relationships might be damaged and broken but they can be repaired.
Let Us Help You!
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please let us know. We’re proud to serve the greater Los Angeles area and want you to know you are not alone. Contact us today to get on the road to recovery.