How Addiction Affects Self-Esteem
The psychological effects of addiction will destroy a person’s self-esteem and their motivation to build a successful life. The self-propelling cycle of failure, self-loathing, despondency and more failure has led many people to engage in life-threatening behavior and even suicide. Recovery from the downward spiral of addiction and low self-esteem is possible with the proper help.
The Necessity of Healthy Self-Esteem
A healthy sense of self-esteem is essential for a healthy life. How people perceive their worth as a human being will affect how they treat others and how they treat themselves. People with a background of abuse or neglect often struggle to see any value in themselves. This opens them up to the unhealthy influence of destructive people. A person with a healthy sense of his or her value as a person is less likely to fall into recreational drug or alcohol abuse.
How Psychological Drug Addiction Works
Addiction has two significant and distinct effects on a person. Physical dependency is established when certain essential chemicals that naturally occur in a person’s brain are replaced by drugs or alcohol. The user’s body will require the given chemical to function properly and will experience potentially severe withdrawal symptoms when it is not available. These symptoms usually last several days, as the body reestablishes its natural chemical balance. The effects of addiction that are longer-lasting and more difficult to overcome are the effects on a person’s psychology. Intoxication affects the same part of the brain that is responsible for the following:
- Impulse control
- Behavior reinforcement
The brain will crave the relief offered by substance abuse in a way that the rational mind cannot control. Neural pathways are rerouted by the disease, and a person’s mind is rewired around the priority of getting high. No matter how desperately a person wants to stay clean, without full rehab from the emotional and mental aspects of addiction his or her odds of long-term recovery are extremely low.
Psychological Addiction and Self-Esteem
Repeated failure to stay clean destroys self-esteem and hope for the future. The mind will use every psychological trick at its disposal to convince the addict to keep using. Some of the most common mental devices that cause relapse include the following:
- Reckless overconfidence
- Shame and secrecy
While the effects of physical addiction may only last a few days, the symptoms of psychological addiction can take months or even years to overcome. With the right type of rehab a recovering addict can learn how to cultivate essential self-esteem, but the process takes considerable time and expertise to accomplish.
Restoring Self-Esteem in Recovering Individuals
Psychological addiction rehab helps recovering individuals learn a new way to think about themselves and their disease. Individual counseling coupled with support group relationships will help develop new thought patterns and behavioral habits that can transform a person’s addiction. Education, spiritual care and an introduction to healthy new habits and diversions are all parts of the addiction recovery process. Another important technique in psychological addiction therapy is serving others. Whether as a mentor, a recovery partner, a worker or volunteer, the recovering addict who spends a significant amount of time and energy serving others is likely to rebuild his or her sense of self-worth much faster than a person who focuses solely on his or her self.
Find Help with Addiction and Self-Esteem Today
If you are wrestling with self-esteem issues and addiction, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. We want to help you take the first steps toward freedom from addiction or self-esteem issues. Start rebuilding your life or the life of a loved one by calling today.