Denial of Addiction: Why We Do It

What is Addiction Denial?

Denial is a natural thought process for each and every person on the planet. In the mind of an addicted individual, however, our denial of addiction can often be a large factor in our substance abuse as it aids in the insanity of our disease. It manifests itself in a variety of ways for a variety of people. The concept roots from within each person’s perception, and is shaped by their thoughts, dreams, hopes, and desires.

No one wants to believe that they are weak or have flaws; it is only human nature to want to be strong, to fit in, or to even be better than our peers. This is part of evolution. Survival of the fittest. We take comfort in our own mind, we enjoy having our ego stroked, and along with it, our pride.

When something happens that threatens our ideal of ourselves, we lash out or we try to ignore it. In this way, denial of addiction is completely natural. For people in our situations who have lived the life of an alcoholic or an addict, we often don’t like to admit that we fall into this category.

However, our addiction denial often does far more harm than good.

Keep reading to learn more about the role of denial in substance use disorders, and how to get help with Find Addiction Rehabs today!

Why is Denial of Addiction so Detrimental

Denial of Addiction so Detrimental

Many of us were probably once in the belief that our alcohol or drug use really was not that big of a problem. Our denial of addiction allowed us to think it wasn’t very serious or that we weren’t as bad as someone else we knew. We could rationalize our drinking, and justify why we did it.

Therefore, we could feel okay with the fact that we absolutely had to continue our drug abuse to feel normal. We had to get out of ourselves in order to just be okay in the present moment. If this sounds familiar, then it is likely that you have a substance use disorder.

The denial that we have held onto for years is part of the insanity of addiction. It directs precisely to how the mind of an addicted individual works. We do the same thing, over and over, expecting different results, and blowing things out of proportion when we don’t get them. This is why many people continue to believe that they can somehow, someday, control their use and other addictive behaviors.

We deny the fact that we are not in control, and we deny the fact that we might need help. Our disease centers in the mind, tell us that we don’t actually have a problem. We minimize our drug or alcohol abuse or we choose to overlook the things we have done, the people we have hurt, and the lies we have told in the past.

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Why Do We Deny Our Addictions?

There are many reasons why we deny our drinking or drug use. Fear of change is a big factor, as admitting that you have an addiction means that you have to make some big changes in your life. This can be scary, especially if you have been using substances for a long time. You may be afraid of what life will be like without them, or you may be afraid of failing at recovery.

Those of us who are addicted to alcohol or drugs also often feel a lot of shame for our conditions. Addiction is often seen as a moral failing, and people with addictions may feel ashamed of their condition. We may worry that if we admit to having a problem, people will judge us or think less of us.

Because of this, our denial has become a coping mechanism. Denial is a way of protecting ourselves from the truth. If we can convince ourselves that we don’t have a problem, even despite the overwhelming evidence, then we don’t have to deal with the reality of our substance use disorders.

Cognitive Distortions and Character Defects

There is also the fact that people with addictions often have cognitive distortions, which are inaccurate or unrealistic beliefs about themselves or their situation. Our cognitive dysfunction can make it difficult to see the truth about our addictions. In the 12-step framework, the concept of character defects also explains why we are able to live in denial of addiction for so long.

Sometimes, the people around us can also enable our addiction by making excuses for our behavior or by providing us with the substances we need. This can make it even harder for us to admit that we have a problem, as we are allowed to continue feeding it.

It’s important to remember that denial is a symptom of addiction, not a cause. It’s not something that you can control, and it doesn’t mean that you are weak or bad. If you are struggling with addiction, the best thing you can do is seek professional help. Find Addiction Rehabs can help you to understand your denial and to develop strategies for overcoming it.

The Negative Consequences of Substance Abuse

Negative Consequences of Substance Abuse

Our continued denial serves as an enabler to our drug or drinking problem, and over time this can lead to serious consequences. Substance abuse can have a devastating impact on not just our individual selves, but our loved ones and communities.

The negative consequences of substance abuse can be physical, mental, social, and economic. For starters, physical consequences of substance abuse can include:

  • Damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs
  • Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems
  • Cancer
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia
  • Unintentional injuries, such as car accidents and falls
  • Overdose, which can be fatal

In addition to these unpleasant side effects, mental consequences of substance abuse can include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Social consequences of substance abuse can cause you to experience problems at work or school, financial issues, legal trouble, strained relationships with friends, co-workers, and family members, and social isolation.

Finally, economic consequences are a real problem with substance abuse and can include increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, increased crime, violence, and homelessness.

For those of us who are struggling with substance abuse, there is help available. There are many treatment options available, including counseling, medication, and support groups. With the right treatment, it is possible to overcome the vicious cycle of substance abuse and live a healthy and productive life.

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Finally Accepting Your Struggle With Addiction

The first step in recovery is admitting we have problems, and that our lives have become unmanageable. Leading up to this, most of us will probably have experienced a pretty life-changing event in which we felt utterly and completely hopeless. Those of us in recovery often refer to this as hitting rock bottom.

Accepting that you have an addiction can be a difficult and challenging process. However, it is an essential step on the road to recovery. It is important to understand that accepting this problem exists will not be an automatic process. You will want to blame yourself for your addiction, which can cause you to spiral into an even worse case of self-deception, in which you feel unworthy of getting better.

Of course, this is not the case. Addiction is, first and foremost, a disease that requires extensive physical and emotional support to overcome. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help get to a point where you are more easily able to accept and start taking the steps to move forward from your addiction, including:

  • Educating yourself about addiction: The more you know about addiction, the less likely you are to be in denial about your own problem. There are many resources available to help you learn about addiction, including books, websites, and support groups.
  • Acknowledging the negative consequences of your addiction: It is important, to be honest with yourself about the negative impact your addiction has had on your life. This may include things like financial problems, legal trouble, relationship problems, and health problems.
  • Identifying your triggers: What are the things that make you want to use or engage in your addictive behavior? Once you know your triggers, you can start to develop strategies for coping with them in a healthy way.
  • Seeking support: Reaching out to our recovery representatives can help you to accept your addiction and develop a plan for recovery. There are also many support groups available for people with addictions, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
  • Being patient with yourself: Accepting your addiction is a process, and it can take a little while. Don’t beat yourself up if you have setbacks along the way. Just keep moving forward and eventually, you will reach your goal of recovery.

How to Recognize Your Drug or Alcohol Use

Recognize Alcohol Use

Denial is a defense mechanism that keeps you safe from the difficult truth of your addictive habits. Over time, however, this will only do you and the people around you more harm than good. In order to accept that you have a problem, you must know what signs to look for.

In order to recognize that you have an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, it is important to be able to identify the common signs of a substance use disorder. There are many signs that you can look out for, including:

  • Changes in your mood or personality, such as experiencing mood swings or becoming more withdrawn.
  • No longer participating in previously enjoyable social activities, interests, or hobbies.
  • Experiencing problems with school or work performance.
  • Withdrawal from or increasing conflict with family and friends.
  • Lying or hiding about drug or alcohol use.
  • Spending more money than usual in order to obtain an abused substance.
  • Engaging in risky or illegal behavior, such as driving while under the influence or stealing.
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when longer using an abused substance.
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Recovering from Drug Addiction

In order to safely overcome substance addiction, it is important to seek out evidence-based treatment services. Your recovery journey may not look exactly the same as someone else’s. Generally, though, there are several stages in the recovery process, including:

The early stages of recovery will be the most difficult, which is why it is important to start your treatment in a secure and structured environment. Find Addiction Rehabs can help you find the best treatment options for your needs nationwide with just one phone call.

How to Maintain Your Sobriety

How to Maintain Your Sobriety

Maintaining sobriety is a lifelong journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, there are some general tips that can help you stay on track. Ways that you can keep yourself in check in recovery include:

  • Take it one day at a time: Don’t think about staying sober forever, just focus on today. If you can get through today, you will find it much easier to get through tomorrow.
  • Building a support network: Having people who understand what you’re going through and can offer support is essential. This could include family, friends, a therapist, or a support group.
  • Knowing your triggers: What are the things that make you want to go back to your dangerous habits? Once you know your triggers, you can find ways to avoid them or develop coping mechanisms to better deal with them.
  • Taking care of yourself: This means eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of your physical and mental health will make it easier to stay sober.
  • Being patient: Relapse is a part of recovery for many people. If you do happen to relapse, don’t beat yourself up. Just pick yourself up and start again.

It is important to practice mindfulness during this period. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. This can help you to become more aware of your triggers and to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with them.

Setting goals is also important. This allows you to have something to work towards, which can help you stay motivated. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and celebrate your successes as you have them.

When working towards your goals, it is important to reward yourself. When you reach a milestone in your recovery, reward yourself with something you enjoy. This will help you to stay on track and to reinforce your positive behaviors.

Finally, you should not be afraid to ask for help. Recovery is not a one-person job, and life is meant to be experienced with the support of people you trust. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to share feedback and ask for help from your support network or from a professional.

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Find Freedom From Drugs and Alcohol: Reach Out Now!

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then Find Addiction Rehabs can help. We give you the jump start to recovery as well as teach relapse prevention including learning healthy outlets in sobriety.

We work with an extensive network of addiction treatment providers that focus not just on your substance use disorder, but your whole health. For more information on how we can help you find the treatment you need, call our 24/7 hotline. We can help you start your recovery today!

Frequently Asked Questions on Denial of Addiction

Can I Die From Addiction?

Unfortunately, yes, you can die from an addiction. Long-term substance abuse can lead to several serious health issues, including life-threatening chronic conditions or overdose. It is also important to know that, in some cases, unsuccessful attempts at recovery can also lead to potentially fatal relapses.

This is why it is so important to seek out a professional addiction therapist or treatment program so that you can safely and successfully navigate through the recovery process. We can help you find treatment options that are right for you today.

Can I Recover From Addiction By Myself?

Professional treatment program

It is not recommended to attempt to recover from addiction by yourself. The first stage of recovery is often the hardest and most dangerous. A person may develop severe and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, as well as several other underlying issues.

Professional treatment programs can help you recover from your addiction safely and comfortably, increasing your chances of achieving and maintaining sobriety.

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