Masking Emotions with Drugs and Alcohol
Dealing with trauma, mental illness, and negative emotions are difficult in the best of times. When someone finds themselves in a bad situation, stressful life events, or the management of symptoms associated with mental disorders can seem disastrous. People can become so desperate to escape their feelings that they start using drugs and alcohol to cope.
For some, using drugs or alcohol to deal with their emotions seems like a harmless idea. For others, they don’t see an alternative, or the choice is too painful. Some abuse substances due to stress. However, abusing substances to handle negative emotions leads to addiction. Addiction will only worsen the bad feelings, anxieties, and disorders in a person’s life. If you feel like you are struggling with addictions due to emotional stress, masking it with drugs or alcohol will only harm you. Please, reach out for help today.
If you or someone you know struggles with their emotions and drug abuse, don’t hesitate to contact us at (614) 502-6247. Recovery Hope Treatment is here to help you conquer your addiction and any emotions you feel with it.
Emotions Play a Huge Role in Our Lives
Without getting into the technical side of things, there’s no complete consensus on what emotions are. Some scientists believe we become emotional as our brain reflects on our goals. When our goals are met, we get happy. When they’re not, we get sad. Others think that emotions are purely a physiological response to hormone changes and other bodily stimuli. Still, others find their definition somewhere between the two.
Regardless, emotions play a massive role in our lives. Usually, the best experiences in life are when people are pleased. For every emotion that we like, however, there is one that we try to avoid.
Sadness, loneliness, and fear are things we all feel from time to time. These are normal emotions that serve a purpose (for example, it’s good to feel afraid when you’re standing in front of a 12-foot grizzly bear). It becomes a problem when these feelings take over. Repeated experiences that leave someone sad or lonely can have a devastating effect on them.
When someone feels a negative emotion, they ideally work through whatever is upsetting them and move on. When this can’t happen, it can lead to drug use.
No matter what emotions you feel, if you are battling addiction, then call us today. With our judgment-free policy, you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed for contacting us. We are only here to help you get on the road to recovery.
Mental Health Issues
While everyone suffers some negative emotions, not everyone faces mental health issues (although more and more people are being diagnosed, with as much as 7.1% of American adults suffering depression at some point in their lives). Illnesses like depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders can be painful for people to deal with and are a leading contributor to drug and alcohol addiction.
Emotions, Mental Illness, and Substance Use
Having strong emotional reactions to stressful events creates the urge to escape. It’s only natural to seek relief from whatever is causing us harm, physical or psychological. Sometimes the incident that’s causing stress can’t be avoided. Things like an abusive relationship, being trapped at home, a bad job, or poverty are incredibly challenging to get away from. When escaping the situation isn’t possible, people try to avoid the emotion it creates.
Drugs and alcohol can be appealing to people that feel trapped in situations like this. This can also be true when someone is dealing with a mental illness. Getting help can be difficult, and for some people, simply impossible. According to national population surveys, about half of the people experiencing a mental illness will also suffer substance abuse problems.
Are you battling heavy emotions because of addictions? If you are or know someone that is, call us today. Our team of experts will be able to assist you in getting the help that you need.
When Drugs and Alcohol Use Turns to Addiction
Drug and alcohol use can start when a person is dealing with levels of stress, sadness, or other negative emotions that they can’t manage by themselves. The same goes for mental illness. Using substances, even legal ones like alcohol, change the way the brain works. Addiction itself is a brain disease precisely because it changes neural pathways.
Continued drug use changes the way endorphins get into your system. Typically, the brain rewards us by releasing “feel-good” chemicals when we’ve accomplished something beneficial. Spending time with family, exercising, and eating well are behaviors our mind wants us to repeat.
Drugs latch onto that system and flood the brain with feel-good chemicals. That’s not the most insidious part of it, though. As the mind becomes accustomed to drug use, its ability to produce those chemicals naturally reduces. With continued substance abuse, the brain depends on the drug to make you feel good. It becomes so bad at producing endorphins that even the drug itself is less effective.
When this happens, your brain has become addicted. Rather than using substances to escape from your problems, you’re now using it because it’s the only way you can feel any relief.
Three Main Factors of Addiction
Addiction is a disorder that is characterized by three main factors. First, there is a strong compulsion to get drugs and consume them, often while disregarding other essential elements in life. Second, people lose control over the drug they’re taking. There’s a big difference between recreational drinking and alcoholism, prescription pills per doctor’s orders, and abusing opioids. Third, there is a strong, adverse reaction when the drug is not consumed. This withdrawal or “crash” state is an emotional state that can only be fixed by either repeated drug use or detoxification.
Addiction is a serious problem that only compounds emotional stress. Using substances to deal with emotions may seem like a quick fix, but it only harms the person. Unfortunately, these negative emotional states not only lend themselves to start, but they also encourage people to continue drug use. These people use addiction as a coping mechanism. They are also a leading cause of recovering addicts falling into relapse.
Do you or someone you love suffer from addiction? Call us today, and we will help you, or even someone else, get the help you need. We understand there are many different situations. So, we promise that you will never feel judged or unwanted. We are only here to help you get happier and healthier.
Drugs and Alcohol Can Control Our Emotions
Drug use has been studied extensively as a way that people regulate their emotions. A person’s current emotional state is a powerful thing. Even when they know that using a substance is bad for them, the feelings a person is dealing with can override their long-term thinking.
This doesn’t apply just to negative emotions, either. Drugs and alcohol increase positive feelings, like when someone has a drink to celebrate a new job. However, the real danger of using drugs to regulate negative emotional states comes from dealing with things like loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Other disorders like bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, and schizophrenia create emotional states that are extremely difficult to handle. When a person can’t afford or refuses treatment, drug use becomes an attractive way to deal with it.
People with mental illnesses report a higher amount of drug use and addiction than the general populace. Drugs and alcohol are so good at acting like emotional regulators that they seem like an easy solution. Once started, habit makes it the only way to get emotional relief.
Consequences of Addiction
Substance addiction affects nearly every aspect of life. From hard drugs like heroin to prescription pills like oxycodone down to alcohol, addiction causes severe damage.
Are you suffering from the consequences of addiction? Are you looking to get some help? Call us today, and we can help you kick the side effects. We are here to help you start your journey to recovery.
Drug use has disastrous consequences on a person’s health. Drug use damages all the major systems in your body, from kidneys to lungs to your heart. It lowers your immune system, which will make you sick more often and makes it harder to recover.
Extended substance abuse can damage your brain, sometimes permanently. Memory loss, impaired judgment, and poor impulse control are all side effects of drug use. During the periods between doses, addiction drags people down into a far worse mental state than the actual event that led them to drugs in the first place. The struggle of addiction itself can cause emotional damage: feelings of worthlessness, anger, sadness, and anxiety often accompany substance abuse.
Because of the nature of addiction, those that suffer it face financial problems. They continue to need more of their drug of choice, and that need only deepens as the obsession continues. They dedicate more and more of their money to their addiction. Watching someone suffer addiction causes stress on the people that love them. Irrational or dangerous behavior can wear on family and friends until they no longer interact with them. This further increases feelings of isolation or loneliness, and these relationships can take years to repair. It can also be difficult, if not impossible, to hold down a job when a person has an addiction.
Stopping the Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Cycle
Ending drug addiction is easier said than done, but the results are well worth it. Substance use is a negative coping mechanism to avoid. There is a world of ways to deal with strong emotions, and none of them should be at the cost of physical and mental wellbeing. There are healthy coping mechanisms available.
Get Professional Help
One of the best things to do when dealing with addiction that stems from emotional issues is to seek out therapy. Having someone in your life that can help you manage and overcome is a huge boon. They can also create management plans for things like depression or anxiety, that will help healthily deal with emotional stress. This could be in the form of medication that will balance their chemical makeup, but it will often include techniques to deal with stress.
If you have decided that you need professional help, then call us. We are here to help you get on the road to recovery. Our experts are here to give you the proper treatment that your addiction needs. Do not hesitate. Call us today.
Connect with Others
Building a support group of people that care about you offers immense relief of our daily struggles. Often, the feeling of not having anyone to confide in or care about your problems is a massive push towards drug abuse. Sometimes, people feel embarrassed when they have emotional issues that they can’t control. Realizing that family and friends genuinely care is a huge step towards healing. Talking with the people who care about you can be very healing, even if you’re venting about what’s upsetting you.
Take Care of Your Body
One of the best things to do for yourself is so simple it often gets overlooked. Your body is a finely tuned machine, where every part affects all the others. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising will make you feel better and help you deal with stress more healthily. Exercising releases those feel-good chemicals into your brain while not reducing its ability to produce them. You don’t have to hit the gym if that’s not your thing. Hiking, swimming, going to a dance class, or even walking around your neighborhood are great ways to keep physically active.
Known as a Helper’s High, lending a hand to someone else releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good. The best part? You can get this boost from all types of helping, from big to small. Volunteering at shelters or organizations is a great way to accomplish this, but it can be anything. Helping an elderly relative with some house chores, smiling at a stranger, or listening to a friend are great ways to make you feel better. As long as you genuinely want to help someone, you’ll reap the benefits.
If you are looking to help someone you know who is suffering from addiction, call us today. We will be able to give you the proper support and tools to help your loved one today. Call now and save a life tomorrow.
Develop Coping Skills
Having excellent coping skills is integral to dealing with negative emotions. The ability to cope with unpleasant situations is something that we usually develop in childhood – it’s a part of growing up. Many people struggle during adulthood because they never set a healthy way to cope. The best way to develop new skills is to talk with a therapist. There is also a ton of advice in book form and on the internet. When trying new techniques, keep in mind that not everything will work for you. If you find something just isn’t working, don’t get discouraged. Change it up and try something new.
Mental Health Over Addiction
Taking care of your mental health comes with considerable benefits to you. People with healthy minds are happier and healthier. They are more productive in their work or school lives and contribute more to their communities. Stressful events hinder them far less, and they bounce back quicker. Best of all, taking care of your mental health without using drugs or alcohol opens you up to realize your life’s full potential. So, you have decided to reach out and get professional help. This is excellent news! You are ready to take the first step in getting addiction treatment. Call us today, and we can help you chose a healthier mental health state over your addiction. Get started on your road to sobriety now.