Understanding Loneliness with Addiction and Isolation and During Recovery

April 05, 2022

Addiction and isolation are like stuck-together alligator clips, meaning that if you're addicted, there's nothing to plug into except yourself! If you're isolated, all the power flows through you! Being alienated can make you feel dejected, annoyed, and even more disposed to substance abuse to relieve the prevailing feeling of sadness and loneliness.

What Is Loneliness?

Loneliness has long been a puzzle to philosophers and psychologists. Initially, loneliness was deemed desirable because it allowed people to focus on more important life goals (thinking, meditation, and spiritual connection). Psychological research now links it to social disengagement and poor social interaction.

Feeling lonely is terrible and debilitating, and it can cause severe mental and physical health difficulties. Loneliness decreases self-protective behavior, reducing social contact. People feel alone and isolated due to their circumstances like alcoholism and addiction. Loneliness causes emotional and cognitive impairment, making it difficult to adapt to new conditions and experiences.

Studies show 47% of American adults experience chronic loneliness. Having pleasant and solid interpersonal interactions is crucial for basic human needs to be met. In other words, people who can't make and keep connections are more prone to illness and mortality.

What Causes Loneliness in Recovery?

In recovery, you may lose some of your relationships while using drugs. This can be alienating. The difference between the separation from some social circles because of discontinued drug use is different from the isolation that addiction causes. One disconnection is from negative influences and triggers that can lead to relapse and continued drug use. The other is being isolated from people who care about you and want to help you stop your detrimental substance use.

The lack of meaningful interactions with others is a social component, whereas melancholy, emptiness, or despair are emotional dimensions. People with substance use disorder often feel stuck and helpless, with no one to turn to. Loneliness can lead to addictive habits to cope. This then can lead to deepened addiction and isolation.

In general, physical isolation or social isolation (when one has few social connections) can lead to feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a sense of separation from others. It's a deep, lingering sense of unworthiness. It has numerous components, including familial, economic, and romantic relationships that can all be significantly impacted by continued drug use.

Unemployment, not feeling connected or popular on social networking sites, not feeling loved by others, and not having friends are some of the most common reasons for loneliness.

Recovery Requires Connections

Connections help in various ways during recovery and before treatment, whether connecting with yourself and your emotions or engaging with others. People with substance use disorder often feel isolated. Addiction usually causes people to withdraw from others either out of shame, guilt, or fear of rejection.

While there are always people (places and things too) that you should distance from in recovery, you can make other healthy connections. You can join virtual communities and online forums, peer support groups, or find ways to spend time with caring relatives and sober friends who will support your new lifestyle.

Be sure also to continually check in with yourself. Connect with and concentrate on your emotions, especially during challenging times. Recognize your emotional reactions to unpleasant circumstances and reach out to a counselor, peer specialist, or someone you can trust to offer you a positive outlook on your situations and keep you from feeling alone.

You are not alone. Recovery treatment centers like Wish Recovery will surround your compassion and care every step of the way to get your life back on track. Once you put the substances down, you put your life back into your hands. Contact us today to learn how to navigate it without pride but with kindness and greater chances of achieving your goals.

Get a Consultation Right Now!

Call: 747-463-1041

We are a group of professional and experienced psychologists and psychiatrists


Get a free, confidential consultation