When it comes to addiction, the focus is usually on the negative physical effects. We sometimes spend so much time focused on how addiction impairs the body that we forget about psychological and mental problems. These can be just as bad or even worse than what addiction does to an individual physically.
Men and women are affected differently by addiction. Women are more vulnerable to addiction’s psychological side effects than men. Their traditional role in society calls for women to be caregivers and nurturers. They aren’t expected to experiment with stuff like drugs or alcohol and addiction to these substances carries a stigma. Getting addiction treatment is also problematic for women because they have to not only worry about how society will view them but also about where to leave their children if they have any.
Common Psychological Issues Driving Women to Addiction
A huge part of treating addiction in women here at Evolve Indy is first unearthing the underlying psychological issues that drove them to addiction in the first place. Both these underlying psychological issues as well as those that arise because of addiction need to be addressed if women in recovery are to get better.
The most common psychological issues around addiction include:
- A negative core belief system. These are negative beliefs that started in childhood. Something happened or someone led the individual to believe that they’re bad, unlovable, worthless, unwanted, etc. these thoughts are reinforced in adolescence and eventually in adulthood.
- Self-sabotage. This refers to a pattern of engaging in self-destructive behavior. It is especially common with addicts. When things go well, those battling addiction often get scared, waiting for things to go wrong again. To deal with this, they turn to addiction and end up messing things up.
- Self-loathing. While self-loathing can lead to addiction, it often happens once a person becomes an addict. Addicts hate themselves on some level and use drugs or alcohol to try and escape their self-loathing. They may refuse to get help due to feelings of unworthiness, guilt, or shame.
Encouraging Self-Love in Women
As the leading substance abuse treatment center in Indiana, we at Evolve Indy are committed to encouraging self-love and positive mental habits in women. That’s why we started Elevate – a new women’s trauma program. This complements our other addiction treatment programs such as the Outpatient Program, the Intensive Outpatient Program, or our Partial Hospitalization Program.
In Elevate, we challenge the negative beliefs women have about themselves. We aim to gradually and gently wear away the layers of self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-sabotage and replace those negative thoughts and patterns with more positive ones. We aim to guide women with addiction down a path of self-love and self-forgiveness as they travel toward recovery. We help them realize that self-forgiveness is possible.
If you are a woman struggling with addiction, a better life is possible and waiting for you. Please call Evolve Indy today and get started on your recovery journey.