Emotional Neglect: A Common Addiction Trigger

photo of a man standing alone

There are many different approaches to addiction treatment. But, studies have shown that the most successful ones do more than simply alter superficial behaviors and temporarily mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. Treatment methodologies that aim to understand and address the underlying causes and triggers of addiction are almost always the most profoundly impactful.

Given that, many addiction specialists work with clients to explore their personal relationships since many people who have experienced chronic emotional neglect turn to drugs and alcohol later in life.

But what is emotional neglect? Simply put, this occurs when someone is unable to provide the affection and emotional support that is needed.

In adults, some of the symptoms of emotional neglect include:

  • Feeling numb to your feelings
  • Being easily discouraged
  • Continually experiencing low self-esteem
  • Holding yourself up to unrealistic standards
  • Experiencing extreme self-doubt

If you are on a journey towards sobriety and identify with one or more of these symptoms of emotional neglect, it may be helpful to speak with your addiction recovery team to see if there is a connection. Because, there are ways you can empower yourself, move forward and protect your sobriety.

After consulting your addiction recovery team, here are a few strategies you might consider:

(1) Embrace what you are feeling. If you’ve spent your life trying to escape from your emotions using drugs or alcohol to numb those feelings, it may seem foreign at first. But, a healthy first step is to simply embrace the full range of human emotions. If you don’t feel comfortable expressing those thoughts with others, try journaling and simply spend a few moments each day to reflect on your experiences.

(2) Reflect on what you want. If you’ve experienced emotional neglect, you may have fallen into destructive relationships and put the needs of others before your own. Think about what you want and what you deserve in close relationships with friends and family members. That can help shape the connections that you make moving forward.

(3) Be compassionate with yourself. You can’t change the past and simply ruminating on what happened won’t change anything. Focus on creating a more positive future for yourself moving forward.

Individual Therapy at 10 Acre Ranch

In some cases, private therapy sessions may also be needed to delve into relapse motivation, addiction history, and coexisting diagnoses. To learn more about our Southern California men’s rehab facility or request individual therapy information, submit a confidential inquiry today. Call 877-228-4679 to learn more.