Self-esteem is the term that people apply to denote their own value. People with low self-esteem refuse to accept that they are good enough for anything. A person with a negative self-worth struggles in maintaining smooth connections with close relations. This behavior collapses healthy relationships and makes it hard for intimate partners and relatives. An individual having low self-worth is likely to have poor parenting skills and such individuals simply refuse to believe that they deserve anything good. Even if they achieve something, they are not satisfied. Additionally, such persons could suffer from depression and other mental health problems. People degrading themselves tend to find solace in drugs and alcohol. Drugs offer a temporary way to feel a sort of hike, but as it takes hold, it takes away their self-esteem completely. This is the reason why people hesitate to go for a complete recovery from addiction.
Individuals who are addicts have a common issue of suffering from low self-esteem and find happiness only through drugs and alcohols. It becomes even harder for them when they move in for a recovery as they begin to struggle in finding happiness away from their addiction. This lack of self-worth stands as an obstacle that keeps them away from making proper efforts to improve their life. They feel this way because actually they don’t feel that they are worthy of making such efforts for the betterment of their life. This is why those individuals who are recovering from an addiction have the need to work on their self-esteem apart from other therapies and medications.
Low self-esteem in addicts
Low self-esteem is one of the indications of a person battling with addiction. Such people fall for drugs as they get a sense of confidence that way. They find this as their apt rescue to avoid their worries about how others validate their behavior. But the truth is that this is only temporary and as a result the individual gets completely addicted and soon it goes out of hand. As an individual begins to feel the downward motion of addiction, his self-esteem goes down further.
Increasing self-esteem in recovery is very important to have a successful and sustainable recovery. If patients keep suffering from low self-worth issues post-recovery, it will ruin their family relationships which will eventually take away their happiness. As a result, they feel that their recovery was inadequate and they return back to addiction. Being free from drugs and alcohol has innumerable possibilities for a happy, healthy life, but only when the person has a good self-esteem to make them accept that they deserve recovery in the first place, rather than settling to be away from drugs and then end up in the same place of an addict.
The need for people in recovery to improve their self-esteem is something that must never be overlooked. As self-worth is not fixed in a person’s character, a little effort can considerably increase an individual’s self-worth. Effective addiction recovery is possible by improving self-esteem in a person which is tempered with humility in order to achieve a balance.
Here are some ways people can increase their own self-esteem:
People can start by monitoring their negative feelings and oppose such thoughts with proper reasoning. They can begin this by asking questions regarding a potential proof to support the negative thoughts about themselves. By doing this, the individual finds ability to tackle all the negative thoughts in a better way.
Regular meditation serves as a productive way to increase an individual’s self-esteem. Mindfulness meditation is an effective way to monitor all the negative thoughts that cause low self-worth. These techniques also involve accepting and respecting their position first and cultivating love for others as the next step. A journal is another way to aim on all the good things about a person which involves keeping a note of all the positive aspects to appreciate about oneself. By this way of cultivating a habit of self-appreciation, a person gradually develops the habit of doing so on a daily basis.
Codependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that negatively impacts the capacity of a person to have healthy and content relationships. This kind of relationship is often destructive and abusive. Many people who are closely related to people with substance abuse issues claim that they are in codependent relationships. They are spouses, parents, children or close friends of individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol who are part of dysfunctional families.
Codependent people believe that they don’t deserve happiness and often try to be nice to others by helping beyond their capacity despite being rejected. Studies show that most codependent people have relationships with others who take advantage of their low self esteem. Alcoholics and drug addicts often have relationships with a codependent person as they find it easy to use them for their benefit and let the codependents to cover up all the mess.
In a family that includes a person dealing with drug abuse, there is a risk where care-taking goes beyond normal when a codependent may allow the person to take drugs at home or supply other provisions like any sort of drug equipment including money to procure drugs. They have a compulsion to do so as they think that it would be safe for the other person to use drugs at home than elsewhere out of their reach. But, the irony is that little do they realize that their help only increases the risk levels of the addict. This type of codependency with a person dealing with substance abuse only adds to the lack of self confidence and self-esteem. The addict gets used to live a life around drugging and drinking and the rest of the family are left to hang on around the substance abuse situation. This situation means that the codependents will never be able to get the priority they deserve in an addict’s life and they will only find the relationship dysfunctional, something that they willingly or unwillingly choose to tolerate. This makes them unresponsive to grab the hands of support offered to them. Such denial is a common symptom of a codependent relationship. This denial never clears but only contributes to the problem that the addict is going through and it makes it even worse by increasing the risks associated with the abuse.
Treatment for individuals in a codependent relationship includes professional counseling, psychotherapy, motivational enhancement and cognitive behavioral therapy both in individual and group therapy sessions. In case of partners, both of them can learn a mode to have a healthy communication and helpful skills to improve self-esteem to make their relationship work for both of them and others in the family. Customized family therapy and counseling sessions can improve the situation for all the members of the family through personal conversations where they get to know a way to have a healthy conversation without agitating the other person. This therapy works effectively with careful aftercare services offered from the addiction center. It is important that both the individual using drugs and the partner tolerating this behavior must get used to some sort of coping methods as substance abuse is usually accompanied by abnormal issues like undesirable behavior, mood swings and even seizures. So it requires professional counseling to get enabled to deal with such situations.
Additionally, substance abuse may also need to be approached through a proper detox prior to further treatment in order to clear all the toxins deposited in the body. This way the person will be ready to manage any side effects that may be caused due to withdrawal, such as cravings, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, anxiety or restlessness. Such symptoms are common in codependent relationships where one or both persons deal with drug abuse. Approved medications along with therapeutic and behavioral methods may be helpful during recovery.
Taking the help from support groups is another way to help people going through a recovery from codependence or substance abuse. This helps a lot in preventing any possible relapse after treatment. This motivates the individuals to stay focused as they learn to accept themselves and approve that they deserve everything that is good, everything that helps them to live their life to the fullest. This way they learn to regain their lost freedom and start to live a healthy life for them and those around them.
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