Mental illnesses can be isolating, even under the best circumstances. Sometimes, your symptoms won’t let you get out of bed, so seeking out companionship is totally out of the question. In other cases, you may worry about the social stigma surrounding your condition. Whether older adults are living in their long-time homes, senior living communities, or nursing homes, we continue to struggle to keep them engaged with others. With chronic loneliness, that stress response gets stuck and becomes disadvantageous — similar to the way in which anxiety can shift a helpful fear response to a maladaptive mental illness.

Deadly overdoses fell in U.S. for first time in five years, new estimates show

It’s very common for people with addiction to push their family and friends away. Damaged relationships are one of the biggest regrets that former substance abusers have. As you begin the process of recovery from addiction, it can help your feelings of loneliness to make amends with your friends and family. Restoring your relationships can reattach you to another social circle and give you a chance to reconnect. Remember that detachment and disconnection are two things that make you feel lonely. A recent study found that forming social relationships with others is paramount to successfully recovering from addiction.

Social Connection

Social isolation and loneliness are widespread problems in the U.S., posing a serious threat to our mental and physical health. What we suggest here is to pay attention to what’s happening in your community or neighborhood and join in whenever you see an announcement for a public event. The best place to find these types of social opportunities is online. Neighborhoods often have groups on social media sites like Facebook or sites like Nextdoor. When you see any kind of announcement for any kind of social event, go participate. When we’re very young, our parents or primary caregivers handle our loneliness for us.

  • Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares ways to stay strong even if you feel lonely.
  • The Massachusetts Center for Addiction offers comprehensive treatment programs that blend evidence-based therapies with personalized care.
  • This challenge may increase your loneliness as you feel nobody else understands your feelings’ intensity and complexity.
  • The rest of this article will address loneliness in the context of addiction.

Addiction has a stigma

Primary care physicians, hospitals, and the full range of senior living facilities also play a critical role to play in identifying and supporting those suffering from social isolation. Many believe white Americans suffer higher rates of premature death from addiction, overdoses and mental health. Social isolation is when a person does not have relationships or contact with others and has little to no social support. Whatever you do to combat loneliness, know that you are truly not alone, and there are many things you can do to feel more connected. Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares ways to stay strong even if you feel lonely. The feeling can be especially noticeable around the holidays, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and times of extreme stress.

You can make friends in rehab or support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. If you are feeling lonely and are struggling with a substance use disorder, you are not alone. At Twin Lakes Recovery Center in Monroe, Georgia, we can help put you on the path to a lasting recovery. To learn more about our programs and services, please get in touch with us today.

  • Therefore, choosing to socialize while in recovery will oppose loneliness.
  • The discomfort of not knowing how we should fill our newfound time and space can lead to feeling squirrely, antsy, and can lead to relapse.
  • Establishing a sense of purpose directs your life and helps you stay on track.

Addiction Lead to Recovery, and Recovery Lead to Being a Good Dad

And those who eventually become sober and lead a healthy life may relapse due to loneliness. In addition to being a common symptom of a mental illness diagnosis, loneliness is also typical during addiction recovery. You tend to sequester yourself away from friends and family due to the negative stigma that surrounds substance abuse and recovery when, in reality, this is when you need support the most. While we’re more connected than ever, loneliness is such a pervasive problem that some studies declared it a public health risk. It’s difficult to address because there is no single cause for this feeling, and how loneliness affects you is as unique as you are. Life changes, physical abilities, work environments, mental conditions, physical illness, addiction and a million other variables all play a role in whether you experience it and to what degree.

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loneliness in recovery

Exercise is a feel-good distraction that also improves your health. Getting regular exercise during the day is one of the best ways to keep your mood up. Experienced Chief Executive Addiction Recovery and Mental Health Professional Business professional in the Addiction Recovery and Mental Health industry for the past 26 years. Caring, compassionate and strongly Sober House motivated to make a difference in the organizations I am affiliated with and welfare of the population we serve. Currently focused on advocating, educating and developing projects leveraging evidence based, real time technology to support individuals in recovery. Business professional in the Addiction Recovery and Mental Health industry for the past 26 years.

loneliness in recovery

You may feel overwhelmed, confused, anxious, and scared, and that’s okay. These feelings are temporary, and relearning how to be sober takes time. The fear of getting criticized or ridiculed by family and friends can also cause isolation. It’s normal to feel disconnected from your previous life and relationships when you stop drinking or using drugs, as these activities often form part of your social circle. At New Method Wellness, we want to support our clients through every aspect of addiction recovery.