Loneliness and Addiction

By Addiction Helpline America
April 12, 2021

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Loneliness is a feeling of being alone and neglected. Lonely people often feel unloved and unwanted. There is a difference between the normal need to take some time away from everyone else and the prolonged periods of having no one to share your issues with.

Family and friends may be around but you end up feeling lonely due to strained relationships.

The feeling results in isolation, anxiety, depression, among others. Besides, the mental health stability of a lonely person is weaker than that of someone with healthy relations.

Note that introverts are not necessarily lonely people as they are often perceived. On the other hand, lonely people tend to turn into introverts. This happens because they have no people to relate with. Sometimes those people are available, but they don't offer enough companionship to address this feeling.

As mentioned earlier, loneliness leads to other situations. In the quest for comfort and happiness, lonely individuals may result in drug abuse. They mistake the feeling they gain from drug abuse with fulfilment. It makes them feel like the void has been filled up.

The short-term 'high' gained from alcohol consumption or usage of other drugs fades away with time. The lonely feeling creeps back and a cycle is developed as the victim seeks more solace in different drugs. They later find it hard to break the habit unless they opt for rehabilitation or other recovery forms.

Causes of Loneliness

To manage a problem, the cause of that problem must be first established. In this case, we may not know how to help until the root cause of loneliness is weeded out.

Lack of confidence

People who are not confident in themselves tend to think that other people will judge them and not agree with whatever they do. For this reason, they prefer keeping to themselves and not sharing their issues with anyone else.

This may lead them to turn to hard drugs or alcohol to boost their confidence and escape loneliness.

Low self-esteem

When someone's self-esteem is low, they will become shy and associate less with people.

Low self-esteem makes one feel like anything they do is not good enough. This makes them create a cocoon to hide in. Loneliness finds its way in their lives through such loopholes.

Lack of friends

Friendship is essential to every person, no matter their age. Having someone to share your issues and other aspects of life helps keep loneliness at bay.

Some friendships are created with total strangers but grow gradually. Others are made among family members or close neighbors. Whichever the case, sharing your feelings with other people helps keep your mind away from thoughts of using drugs and being addicted.

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How to Curb Addiction Caused By Loneliness

Self-awareness

This is the first step to take on your recovery journey from addiction caused by loneliness. Being aware of whom you are as a person and embracing your strengths and weaknesses cope with different situations.

If your self-esteem or confidence is low, you need to come up with ways to reverse and raise them.

Through self-awareness, you will know the kind of things or occurrences that make you lonely. From there, you can decide whether to ignore or face them.

Join a recovery group

After discerning that the cause of your addiction is loneliness, it is advisable to join a forum that deals with the same.

An addiction specialist will help you on this journey. You will also realize that sharing your predicaments will help you offload the loneliness. Who knows, you might come out of the forum with a friend who identifies with similar addictions and other issues?

Keep yourself busy

When you are busy, there will be less time to think about the causes of your loneliness. Creating a diversion will help you concentrate more on other activities. Gradually, your interest shifts to the new activity, and you curb your addictions in the process.

Joining a sport, offering community service, and concentrating on your hobbies are among the healthy diversions from addiction.

Write down your goals.

Written goals push you to work harder towards them. Each time you achieve any of the goals, check it and treat yourself to a celebration.

Once you realize how much you have achieved on your own or with your loved ones' help, you will be more confident in yourself. This will help you socialize more and in a better way, hence curbing your loneliness.

Sign up for mental health therapy

Prolonged loneliness may result in severe anxiety attacks, depression, withdrawal, or suicidal thoughts.

These mental issues can lead to permanent disorientation. It is okay to ask for help.

Go ahead and contact your psychiatrist or psychologist. Check out other organizations that offer this kind of help and consult widely. It is never too late to turn things around.

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