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Addiction & Shame

Guilt and shame are two of the most commonly experienced emotions in addiction recovery

Overcoming Shame and Guilt in Recovery is Crucial

Battling with addiction is hard enough without the added stigma surrounding alcohol, drug abuse and mental health in today’s society.

Stigma essentially means the negative attitudes imposed by society on people who are considered ‘not normal.’

This is why so many see addiction as a series of behaviours and symptoms rather than seeing the person compassionately and as an individual.

Negative stigmas are a reflection of society, not you as an individual.

The Executive Rehab Guide understands how hard it can be to own up to your addiction, so we seek to dispel the stigmas and help you rise above them and get the help you deserve.

Call us today on 0808 1150 446.

If you, a loved one, friend or colleague is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, then our support team are on-call 24/7 to help – compassionately and confidentially.

Shame: The side effect of stigma

The most considerable knock-on effect of the common social opinions surrounding addiction is the shame felt by the individual.

Feeling guilty about your addiction can cause you to hide your problems from others, leading to more severe substance abuse.

Social stigmas can also lead to the following feelings and effects:

  • Shame and embarrassment
  • Feelings of discrimination and isolation
  • Loss of job
  • Breakdown of relationships
  • Reluctance to seek help for fear of being judged
  • Self-doubt

The family of an addict are also judged, which causes shame, anger and stress for spouses, children and other family members.

These opinions can lead to other mental health and relationship problems for the addict and their loved ones.

The shame caused by stigma contributes heavily to feelings of self-doubt, which often stops individuals from getting the help they need.

Steps to overcome the stigma

This is a hands-on approach using many therapeutic methods to encourage you to be more active and expressive.
Equine facilitated therapy is an experiential (hands-on) psychotherapeutic intervention involving horses as co-therapists. Read more.

It is important not to feel afraid of seeking treatment because of what others think.

See Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatments.

Admissions and medical teams in rehab clinics are entirely non-judgemental and are focused on helping each individual on the road to recovery.

Step 1: Acknowledge your addiction

The first step is to accept that you are suffering from an illness beyond your control.

Addiction or mental illness is not your fault, and there are so many treatment options out there that can help you.

Step 2: Don’t suffer in silence

Speaking out about your addiction and seeking support from others is the next step towards overcoming social opinions and seeking treatment.

Speak to those around you – loved ones, friends, colleagues – about your addiction. They want to help you too and will appreciate your openness.

Attending self-help groups such as AA, NA, or mental health charities will allow you to open up in an understanding environment.

See Additional addiction treatment resources.

You will also realise that you are not alone and will feel less excluded.

There are support groups not only for the addict but for their families too.

Al-Anon helps families deal with the impacts of alcohol and drug addiction on their lives and relationships.

Step 3: Seek the proper treatment

Educating yourself about the treatment options available to you, and deciding to get help will be the first step towards a sober, healthy and happy life.

Overcoming an addiction alone is impossible, but seeking medical help will give you the best chance of recovery.

Rehab treatments are often tailored to your needs and focus on detoxification, educational therapy and instilling new and healthy habits.

What are the benefits of treatment?

  • Medical safety and stabilisation
  • Relapse prevention
  • Therapeutic treatments
  • Professional and peer support
  • Support for family members
  • Aftercare plan

We can help you because we understand that it is not just about the addiction – there’s so much more to it.

For impartial, understanding and confidential advice, talk to our admissions team today. Call us now.

Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by