The Connection Between Self-Esteem and Drug Addiction

A common phrase among both social and habitual drinkers is that they need the drink to loosen up. A few drinks can escalate and become a drinking problem. The need for stimulation as a way of getting in tune with basic human emotions is a sign of a lack of emotional maturity and possible mental stifling.

Performing simple or complex tasks become drudgery when one suffers from a lack of confidence. Escapism is a solution for people who cannot face up to the negative words that rile in their heads all the time. Words like ‘you are incompetent’ or ‘you are ugly’ may cause the sufferer to adopt a mental state that deludes them from the perceived reality.

Defining Self-Esteem

The University of California Press published an article detailing the connection between self-esteem and escapism. The definitive article stated that self-esteem forms the core of any human being. It is the indicator that determines decision-making abilities. Self-esteem is the overall feeling one possess regarding his or her abilities. This personal concept is the way we think we present ourselves to the world. 20th-century psychologists Bergman, Pine, and Mahler drafted theories explaining the causes of low self-esteem and its primal role in making one a slave to addictions.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the sum collective of feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Self-esteem is not a genetic trait and is proven mutable. Possession of little self-regard is a learned behavior stemming from a variant of influences.

• Growing up around overly critical authority figures who did not approve of the child’s actions.
• The absence of attention from parents or caregivers, which results in the child feeling easily dismissible.
• Excessive fights among the adults in a child’s life plant seeds of feeling like he or she is the causative agent of the conflict.
• Experiencing bullying in school without a supportive family to help process the feelings of unworthiness.
• Abuse of any kind is the most prominent cause of low self-esteem.
• Societal pressure to perform without emotional support and guidance from parents to understand the workings of society. This pressure may stem from the need to match with airbrushed media personalities and wealthy kids.

How Low Self-Esteem Can Facilitate Drug Addiction

The medical director of Talbot Recovery stated that self-esteem is a symptom of underlying mental and emotional dysfunctions. When one begins using drugs to mask their insecurities, they develop a thick skin against what they perceive society thinks of their abilities and outlook. In most cases, drug users display overconfidence, which slowly subsides after the drug sloughs off. Low self-esteem is cyclically connected to drug abuse. The drug abuse causes one to delve deeper into having a crippled esteem and a stronger dependency to cope with the knowledge that solely functions under the influence. Ending the vicious cycle means starting life on a clean emotional and mental state. There are tried methods that have proven useful in helping recovering addicts stop the downward spiral. It is important to find a relapse center that will keep track of the recovery process.

How To Heal Low Self-Esteem in Drug Abuse Recovery

• Seek the support of a therapeutic group session such as AA sessions or a drug rehab center.
• Raise your consciousness to notice patterns of negative self-talk and its escalation to escapism.
• Diligently choose the surrounding environment to uproot causes of addiction such as an influential peer or place that instigates the addiction.
• Begin making and following a health regimen that will transform the body from within. These include eating healthy food, working out and rejuvenating the mental state by meditation.
• Forgive yourself for making less than perfect decisions under life’s inevitable pressure. Extend the grace to the defaulters who failed in molding a strong mental and emotional persona in a child.
• Make small steps to affirm the positive progress towards creating a healthy mind and draft positive affirmations to rewire the brain’s negative self-talk.
• Extend kindness to others- Helping another person attain a certain level of happiness will automatically make one feel accomplished on an emotional level. This creates ripples of positivity, which ultimately influence the overall mental health.
• Become tolerant of other people’s faults to develop a high sense of worthiness that understands a man is to err.
• Develop new healthy habits such as hiking, music or crafty art to delve into during tempting moments to bow to old escapism methods of drug addiction.

What To Expect While Recovering From A Drug Addiction Originally Fuelled By Low Self-Esteem

• Drug recovery takes time- Overcoming a learned negative coping system is an accomplishment in itself, as it requires one to uproot an entire belief system and begin on a foreign one.
• Periods of low mood swings- Recovery takes an inconsistent upward graph that dips and rises differently with every person.
• Healing is a personal journey- Gaining a strong self-esteem is not a derivation of another’s belief system. While receiving appraisals from others may motivate in the recovery process, the patient discovers that sobriety is a personal and deep journey of unearthing fears and planting new seeds of hope and inspiration.
• Negative self-talk is a waste of time- As one strengthens a positive belief system, they begin to notice the ebbs and flow of energy with the various wavelengths of thoughts. Negativity will dampen the spirit and inhibit farther growth, whereas positive self-talk accelerates the renewal of brain cells to facilitate a rich inner life and outward happiness.

The post rehabilitation period can also be the most trying window in a patient’s life. Maintaining a positive outlook on life requires emotional diligence and regular seclusions to meditate. Maintain contact with the rehab facility to call in any time in case the feelings of unworthiness begin creeping up. One is not diagnosed with low self-esteem at birth. The mentality is burrowed into the mind with a negative upbringing and nurtured self-destruction. Emotionally stable adults can remedy drug addiction by dumbing down the embers of yesterday’s mistakes and providing an understanding that no one is born with a propensity for drug abuse.

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