Self-Esteem During Recovery: How to Build it Up
Self-esteem is an imperative aspect of anybody’s character; it influences how we communicate, responds to events, and even sets the trajectory for our future. In the context of addiction recovery, it has the power to set the stage for success.
The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Addiction
Self-esteem is one of the most important factors in addiction. People with low self-esteem are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their negative feelings. They may also be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as using drugs or driving while intoxicated. People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, are more likely to abstain from drugs and alcohol. They may also be more likely to seek help for their addiction. Self-esteem is also a major factor in relapse.
People who have low self-esteem are more likely to relapse after treatment than those with high self-esteem. This is because they may feel that they are not worthy of recovery. They may also feel that they cannot handle sobriety on their own. People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, are more likely to believe in their ability to stay sober. They may also be more likely to have a support system in place, which can help them stay sober.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward oneself. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent” and “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame.
People with high self-esteem have better mental and physical health, more successful relationships, and greater work productivity. They are also less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and self-harm.
Self-esteem is not static; it can change over time. It is also relative, meaning that people can have high or low self-esteem in different areas of their lives. For example, someone might have high self-esteem in their personal life but low self-esteem in their professional life.
There are several ways to improve self-esteem, such as therapy, journaling, and positive affirmations. However, it is important to remember that self-esteem is not an all-or-nothing trait; everyone has some areas in which they feel good about themselves and others in which they could use some improvement.
Why Does Self-Esteem Matter?
Self-esteem is important for many reasons. First, people with high self-esteem generally feel good about themselves and are happier than those with low self-esteem. Second, people with high self-esteem are more likely to take care of themselves and make healthy choices. Finally, people with high self-esteem tend to be more successful in life.
Low self-esteem can lead to negative consequences in our lives. It can make us feel unworthy, unlovable, and undeserving of good things. We may believe that we are not good enough and that we will never be good enough. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and a belief that we are powerless to change our lives. Low self-esteem can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
It can make us more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and self-harm. And it can make it difficult for us to form healthy relationships. Ultimately, low self-esteem is bad for our mental and physical health.
Self-esteem is something that we all struggle with at times. It is normal to feel bad about ourselves occasionally. But when low self-esteem becomes a constant problem, it can be damaging to our well-being. If you think you might have low self-esteem, there are things you can do to improve the way you feel about yourself.
Signs of Good Self-Esteem
Some signs of good self-esteem are feeling confident in your abilities, setting healthy boundaries, and being able to accept compliments. People with good self-esteem tend to be more resilient and can better handle stress and setbacks. They’re also more likely to take risks and pursue their goals.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can manifest in several ways, including feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and inferiority. Individuals with low self-esteem often doubt their abilities and feel that they are not good enough. They may also compare themselves unfavorably to others and have difficulty accepting compliments.
How Does Low Self-Esteem Cause Addiction?
Low self-esteem can be a major contributing factor to addiction. People who feel bad about themselves are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape their negative feelings. Additionally, people with low self-esteem often have trouble following through on treatment for addiction, as they may feel that they don’t deserve to get better. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and low self-esteem, it’s important to seek help from a professional who can address both issues.
What Happens to Self-Esteem When Using Drugs?
The use of drugs can have different effects on self-esteem. For some people, using drugs may make them feel more confident and increase their self-esteem. However, for others, using drugs may lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-worth. Additionally, some people may find that their use of drugs leads to negative consequences in their lives, such as losing friends or family members, which can further damage their self-esteem. Ultimately, the effect that drugs have on self-esteem will vary depending on the individual and the specific drug being used.
Addiction Risk Factors
There are risk factors that can contribute to addiction. Some of these include the following:
- A family history of addiction or substance abuse
- Exposure to drugs or alcohol at an early age
- Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD
- Trauma or stressful life events
- Peer pressure
- Easy access to drugs or alcohol
- A lack of support system
- Poor coping skills
Many risk factors can contribute to the development of addiction. Some of these include family history, mental health issues, trauma, and stress. Each of these factors can increase a person’s vulnerability to developing an addiction.
Family history is one of the strongest predictors of addiction. If someone has a parent or close relative who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to develop an addiction themselves. This is because addiction is partly genetic.
Mental health issues can also increase the risk of addiction. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders are more likely to turn to substances as a way of self-medicating. This can lead to a dangerous cycle in which the person becomes increasingly dependent on substances to cope with their mental health issues.
Trauma and stress can also make people more vulnerable to addiction. People who have experienced traumatic events, such as abuse or violence, are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of numbing their pain. This can lead to a spiral of addiction and further trauma.
Mental Health and Addiction
Mental health and addiction are both very serious issues that can have a major impact on an individual’s life. But what many people don’t realize is just how big of an impact these conditions can have. Mental health disorders can lead to problems with work, school, and personal relationships. They can make it difficult to keep a job or get an education. And they can put a strain on the people who are closest to you.
Addiction, meanwhile, can ruin your health, your finances, and your personal life. It can cause problems at work and home. And it can lead to criminal activity. Addiction is an all-encompassing disease that is even more dangerous when another disorder exists at the same time. This is referred to as a co-occurring disorder.
What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?
Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis or comorbidity, are the simultaneous presence of two or more psychiatric disorders. These disorders can interact and exacerbate each other, making it difficult to treat one without addressing the other. Commonly occurring pairs of disorders include depression and anxiety, substance abuse and mental illness, eating disorders and depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.
Importance of Self-Esteem During Recovery
It is essential to maintain a healthy sense of self-esteem in recovery. A high level of self-esteem can help protect against relapse as well as provide the motivation needed to stay on track with treatment and goals. A low level of self-esteem, on the other hand, can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair, which can make it difficult to stick with a treatment plan. Additionally, individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to believe that they are not worthy of recovery, which can further hinder progress.
LUNA Can Help Improve Your Self-Esteem During Recovery
Self-esteem is imperative to the recovery process. Not only does maintaining positive self-esteem increase the chances of recovery success, but it also lessens the likelihood of relapse. At LUNA Recovery, we offer addiction treatment programs that can help. If you or a loved one are interested in how LUNA Recovery can help you, you can contact us here.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.