Do you know what addiction looks like? Think again. Because it’s a multifaceted disease, there’s not just one appearance. Case in point is when individuals develop a psychological dependence to a substance.
Physiological vs. Psychological Dependence
Do your hands shake when you don’t take a drink in a certain number of hours? Does it feel like you’re coming down with the flu when you forget to take your opioids? These are signs of a physiological addiction. The body tells you when it runs low on the substances it now needs to help release certain chemicals.
In contrast, a psychological addiction is more subtle. Your emotions may play tricks on you. They tell you that without your drug, it’s impossible to deal with life’s daily stressors. When you’re not using, you begin to feel unable to handle them.
What Does This Type of Addiction Look Like?
For some, this might call for a drink before heading into a meeting or taking a test. For others, it may require a hit before seeking out a romantic encounter. The idea of going through withdrawal and quitting may fill you with feelings of dread. You may develop hostility toward others who suggest you have a substance abuse problem.
In reality, you may have tried to quit using. However, you can’t stop because the drug becomes synonymous with living. Before long, your mood, self-esteem, self-respect, and ability to interact with others depend on the substance. From the outside, others see you losing your way and stopping the pursuit of hobbies you used to enjoy.
Because the chasing drug use consumes all of your time, you quickly isolate yourself from others. You think you’re using the drug to deal with life. Others see you as letting go of life for the sake of taking the drug. However, since their warnings make you anxious, you withdraw even more.
How to Overcome a Psychological Dependence
- A team approach to assess your mental health needs during intake and frequent milestone evaluations
- Assessment for co-occurring disorders that add a mental health challenge to overcoming addiction
- Dealing with unresolved trauma as needed
- Chronic pain management to prevent relapse in the future
- Gender-specific recovery processes that tie in directly to your emotional makeup and the challenges you face
By customizing recovery to feature a strong mental health component, you succeed in breaking the emotional hold of the drug. At Ashley Addiction Treatment, this is exactly the type of setup you find. Call 866-313-6307 today to start living a new life.