10 Apr Is It Important For Human Connection During Addiction Recovery?
Recovering from addiction can be extremely difficult if done alone, especially as mental health conditions can interfere with treatment. Therefore, support from professionals and loved ones is imperative for reaching success in recovery. Human connection is a powerful holistic bond that can provide great benefits to your psychological health. Relationships with family members, connections with medical professionals, and support from our loved ones can help us regulate our emotions so we can focus on our journey to sobriety.
Emotions and Recovery
Addiction recovery can be a difficult process for anyone. Once you are in recovery, you may experience intense emotions you have never felt before in your lifetime. Everyone acts differently at the start of treatment. A person may feel confident going in and ready to get started. Some people may suffer greatly and struggle to adjust to a new life being sober. An individual may experience a strong sense of irritability that may lead to impulsivity caused by raw feelings at the start of treatment. The people exposed to this behavior can also be affected.
Leaving toxic friends behind, changing your weekend activities from partying to staying in, or just grabbing simple lunch can be a difficult transition from life before sobriety. Recovery can be quite confusing for some but these are all typical reactions when finding support.
Negative Effects From Lack of Human Connection
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, loneliness affects a significant amount of people in the United States. Lack of interaction with others caused by loneliness can lead to many serious health conditions and demotivation. More so, isolation often leads to missed opportunities in life. This research from the CDC has also found that lack of human connection increases the risk of:
- Cognitive decline
- Substance use disorder (SUD)
- Depression and anxiety
- Premature death
Benefits of Human Connection
Humans are wired to join together and unite. Each human connection we make has an impact on our future and our health. Depending on who you bring into your life, your sense of belonging and purpose can partially be fulfilled by relationships. People can help teach us about ourselves and challenge us in our everyday life. Opportunities are made from new connections. Guidance and direction are given to us by the people that provide support. Life can overall be more enjoyable when we have company. According to the National Library of Medicine, some of the benefits of social interaction include:
- Healthy body mass index
- Blood sugar control
- Decreased depressive symptoms
- Better odds of cancer survival
- Reduced cardiovascular mortality
- Decreased PTSD symptoms
- Better mental health
According to another article in the National Library of Medicine, peer support gives an individual nonprofessional and intellectual assistance from others suffering from similar conditions. This allows us to achieve long-term recovery from addiction and better treat psychiatric problems. In 2016, there was a dramatic increase in the adoption of group therapy services to support recovery.
Therapy can help us heal from trauma and direct us away from substance cravings in order to fight addiction. Support groups act as a safety net for an individual struggling to find the direction needed to break free from SUD. The support from human connection strengthens us throughout our recovery process. Participating in group therapy allows us to open up honestly about our thoughts without the fear of judgment. This enables us to discuss our internal feelings to heal from traumatic events in our lives. Connecting with others helps improve our skills by working together with supportive people to better cope throughout our treatment plan.
Healing From Addiction
When a person suffering from SUD feels alone, they are more likely to continue indulging in substance use. The individual who tries to overcome addiction alone may not have all of the tools or strategies to achieve sobriety. Weaning from addiction without professional support can often lead to domestic violence, severe irritability, and depression. A person with SUD is more likely to have damaged relationships with family and friends, legal problems, and employment issues.
Care and support from others can help the person struggling find a strong sense of purpose as well as the encouragement to seek and accept help. Human connection is extremely powerful and provides us with many psychological and physical health benefits. For instance, remaining by your partner’s side during recovery, helping your loved ones find the right treatment resources, receiving support from peers, and finding treatment through professionals can assist greatly in the individual recovery journey. Each branch of connection can provide us with emotional support for a better quality of life as a whole. Continuing to fight stigma while staying strong for our loved ones suffering can make a huge positive difference for everyone involved.