How Emotions Contribute to Addiction

Addiction is a spiritual, physical and mental disease. Nobody sets out using drugs because he or she wants to be addicted. However, when a person starts abusing drugs, they may find that it’s helps them avoid negative emotions. As time progresses, addiction makes people do a lot of things they regret. So the cycle of feeling bad and then using to stop feeling is often a big part of the addiction cycle.

Emotions and Getting High

Negative emotions can drive a person to use, and then using can cause a person to have negative feelings. It can be a frustrating cycle. There are a lot of specific emotions that can drive a person not in recovery to use, including:

  • Guilt: The pain of guilt often makes people anxious to get high and forget about the things they’ve done wrong. Addictive behavior can result in a lot of guilt, especially for a person who has been lying or manipulating to get their fix. You may not feel guilty when you’re high, but you probably will feel awful in-between fixes.
  • Shame: Similar to guilt, shame can cause a person to develop low self-worth. Guilt usually comes from something you did (or didn’t) do, while shame is an emotion that comes from disliking your entire being. Shame can be debilitating and can stem from trauma or other emotional pain.
  • Helplessness: In recovery, this is also called powerlessness. It’s the feeling of being out of control. You don’t feel in control of your life or even your actions.
  • Fear: When you’re using, you take a lot of risks that you usually wouldn’t, especially if you’re having trouble getting a fix. You may fear legal woes, financial problems, or just being “found out” by your loved one or work colleagues.
  • Depression: When you’re addicted to a drug, it may become the most important part of your life. It’s natural to feel depressed when a drug is in control, not you.

When you’re using, you may find that you want to get high the most when you’re feeling one of these emotions. But if you’re addicted, you probably know that almost any emotion gives an excuse to use. In recovery, you’ll learn to cope with feelings healthily, even when they’re intense or overwhelming. One thing that you’ll learn first is to take everything “one day at a time” – you don’t need to worry about tomorrow, yet.

Getting Help

You don’t have to stay trapped in the cycle of pain and addiction. There’s help available right now, if you choose it. Give us a call at 877-228-2401 to learn more about your options. Recovery is possible!

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