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. Once an addiction develops, those feelings of shame and self-esteem can often be increased, as there is a stigma when talking about 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. However, when shame seems to never go away, it can lead to self-medication or taking a substance in order to forget the shame.
Don’t Let Shame Impact Addiction Recovery
When it comes to addiction recovery, though, too much shame is a big risk. It can affect every step in the recovery process. Shame can keep you from reaching out for help in the first place. Shame can also affect you in other areas during the process. Here are some ways how:
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 a 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
Help from Acqua Recovery
Do not let shame keep you from getting the help you need. At Acqua Recovery, we can help you work through your feelings of shame and guilt to allow you to recover fully. 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.