Loneliness is addictive

Isolation can serves as both a cause and effect of addiction

Those who struggle with loneliness or mental health issues are generally at a higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, drugs or behavioural addictions. Once someone starts drinking alcohol, using drugs or becoming addicted to a certain behaviour, they begin to increase their sense of isolation. Basically, addiction leads to further isolation, meaning loneliness can both serve as the cause and effect.

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Addiction further isolates people for several reasons. The person suffering with the addiction may try to hide their addiction from others. This is then alienating loved ones around them.

To relieve feelings of loneliness, individuals further engage in addictive behaviour. The compulsion to use alcohol, drugs or behaviour is so intense that those suffering detach from anyone or anything that gets in their way.

Individuals may lose the support of family and friends and form unhealthy relationships with those who support their addiction. This then leads onto a deeper isolation.

Loneliness can easily lead to addiction, and once addiction encompasses one’s life, the cycle becomes harder to break. You may have heard that the opposite of addiction is connection, and there is truth in that.

Without connections with others, the chances of recovery are slim to none.

The tools for dealing with loneliness come from support and by reaching out. Taking that first step may seem daunting but by having that initial conversation with someone who understands can give you the courage to reconnect with your relationships. Treatment addresses the addiction problem holistically, mentally, emotionally, physically!

While connecting with those who support your recovery is vital, so is disconnecting from unhealthy relationships. This step can be difficult.

Unhealthy relationships can be detrimental to recovery, and they aren't the answer to curing loneliness if they keep you from moving forward.

During active addiction, emotions are often squashed, hidden, and unidentified. Some people coming into recovery may have difficulty expressing their emotions and may not even understand what they are feeling at all. What may feel like anger may actually be sadness, or what may feel like grief may actually be resentment.

Learning how to express how you feel not only serves as a solid recovery tool, but it helps relieve isolation. Whether you are writing in a journal or talking to a trusted friend, being honest about feelings combats loneliness.

By nature, humans are social creatures, who need each other. Connection with others is essential for mental and emotional health, but addiction destroys that connection.

Through connections and support, it is possible to break the cycle of loneliness and addiction. You are not alone. The advantages of seeking out and becoming part of a support group is it helps to combat the effects of loneliness holistically, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

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