At Acqua Recovery, our addiction treatment center in Utah is proud to offer a pro-recovery environment that provides support and understanding as you work toward addiction recovery. We’ll help you communicate with both others and yourself more effectively, helping make better choices and achieve a better life.
One big area that’s a common subject within self-reflection as part of recovery is how shame impacts addiction. This harmful emotion can cause a damaging cycle that contributes to addiction and relapse, but with the right approaches, you can help manage shame and other emotions like it. Here’s everything you need to know.
Shame Versus Guilt
Most people tend to use these terms as one and the same, but there’s actually a meaningful distinction between them. Guilt refers to someone feeling a negative emotion because they think they’ve done something wrong – it’s a temporary thing. Shame, on the other hand, is when someone believes they themselves are wrong or bad as a person.
People with shame don’t believe they’ve necessarily done a single thing wrong – rather that there is something larger wrong with them. Shame can lead to depression, paranoia, loneliness, and issues with recovery.
Shame and Self-Esteem
These two areas are very closely related. Those with low self-esteem have issues valuing themselves or feeling as if they deserve respect. Those who feel shame often during childhood may have low self-esteem as adults, and this can often be a precursor to addiction.
When Shame is Okay
In small amounts and for short periods, shame can be beneficial. It can help us behave better, try harder, or do fewer negative things.
Don’t Let Shame Impact Addiction Recovery
When it comes to addiction recovery, though, too much shame is a big risk. Here’s why:
- Those with shame may believe they aren’t worthy of a good life, and therefore won’t work hard at recovery.
- Shame can prevent people from enjoying success or achieving emotional sobriety.
- It leads to uncomfortable feelings, which can result in relapse.
- Shame can prevent the formation of a support network that’s vital for recovery.
- Both family and friends may suffer from self-destructive patterns caused by shame.
For more on how shame impacts addiction recovery, or to learn about any of our substance abuse treatment programs in Utah and how they can help, speak to the caring addiction treatment staff at Acqua Recovery today at 866.830.4628.