You may live in denial if you abuse addictive substances. This refusal to accept the reality can manifest itself in the form of lying about addictive behaviors, ignoring the consequences, minimizing the health-related concerns of family and friends, or justification for alcohol and drug use. Denial is a powerful mental state that can prevent you from receiving the assistance you require, despite the fact that the majority of people struggle to accept the reality of their circumstances at some point in their lives. Fortunately, you can learn to face reality head-on and overcome denial. You can heal past wounds, reframe negative thoughts, alter harmful behavior patterns, and overcome addiction by confronting reality.
Types of denial in addiction Denial challenges,
However, denial is also a coping strategy. You can put off confronting the truth because you are in a state of mind that is typically motivated by fear. Denial can cause you to distort the reality of your drug and alcohol abuse rather than admitting how and why you misuse them. You can try to deny your substance abuse by:
Making light of your circumstance or minimizing it.
When you attempt to appear as though your use of drugs and alcohol is being exaggerated, you minimize your addiction. You might say, “It’s not that bad” or “Someone else drinks or uses drugs way more than I do.”
Making justifications or excuses.
Substance abuse rationalization typically resembles action justification. You might say that you’re stressed out or that you just drink to get through tough times. You can also try to say that you just need “a little help getting through this” to justify using alcohol and drugs. Drinking alcohol because you think you’ve worked hard and “earned” it is one example of rationalization.
Although there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, constantly convincing oneself that one’s substance use isn’t that bad or severe is a common sign of self-deception.
Denial is a normal response to stress, but it can also be a very powerful but dangerous habit. Denial prevents you from confronting the reality of your situation, whether you tend to minimize, rationalize, or convince yourself that you are fine when you are not. Denial encourages you to continue engaging in addictive behaviors rather than seeking treatment for substance abuse. Unfortunately, this pattern of behavior can result in strained relationships, financial difficulties, legal issues, and a variety of health issues.
Why is denial so effective and harmful?
The recovery process is hampered by denial. You can easily convince yourself that you do not actually require treatment when you are in denial about the severity of your substance use. Denial allows you to minimize the severity of the problem rather than acknowledging its difficulty. Denial encourages you to minimize the consequences of what is happening rather than confronting the facts about it. Denial is one of the primary reasons why many people who require addiction treatment do not receive it, despite its subtlety.
You don’t give yourself the chance to build self-efficacy or a belief in your ability to succeed when you live in denial. You can overcome setbacks and disappointments with a strong sense of self-efficacy, see difficult problems as tasks to be mastered, and build a stronger sense of commitment. You avoid the difficult but rewarding task of recovery because denial reduces your power and makes you believe that difficult circumstances are beyond your control.
Problems that multiply
Problems can only get worse by avoiding the truth. Denying the reality of a situation increases stress and the risk of heart attacks, according to research. Mental health issues, relationship issues, and physical illness can all result from living in denial. Denial can lead to financial ruin, divorce, unemployment, homelessness, poor mental health, a criminal record, and long-term illness as a result of an addiction.
How to Overcome Denial
It is not easy to overcome denial, but it is doable. You might have to deal with some feelings of guilt and shame, but having the courage to admit it and seeking help can be made easier with the support of close friends and family. Overcoming denial is not a one-time fix; rather, it is an intentional process that frequently involves therapy, mindfulness, and self-awareness. Here are some helpful pointers to get you started.
Set up a journal for the “truth about substance use.
Self-awareness is the first step in overcoming denial. It’s possible that you don’t realize how much or how frequently you drink or use drugs. You can use this journal to help you accept that fact. You are not required to make the entries lengthy or difficult. Simply record the times, dates, quantities, and substances you consume. You might actually consume an excessive amount of addictive substances if you observe how frequently you take pills or drink alcohol.
Consider the reasons you refuse to accept reality.
There is a reason for denial. Denial can be sparked by feelings of shame, guilt, rejection, fear, disappointment, criticism, or judgment. Combating those feelings can be made easier if you know why you deny. You can also discuss these feelings with your friends and family. Inform them that confronting the truth terrifies, frightens, or worries you. Communicate to them that you are ashamed or guilty. They may be able to empathize with you and support you as you seek professional assistance if you acknowledge this.
Consult a therapist.
Talking to a therapist is a non-judgmental way to deal with challenging truths and situations, despite the fact that this may initially seem unsettling. You can open up, realize your reasons for denial, and accept the truth with the assistance of a therapist. Additionally, a licensed therapist can assist you in identifying and altering the thoughts that initially led to denial and addiction.
We can help you overcome it and change your life.
A downward spiral that includes illness, relationship issues, mental health disorders, and socioeconomic difficulties can result from ignoring the truth about addiction. Fortunately, our treatment programs can assist you in overcoming addiction, healing past wounds, and moving past denial to live a sober, empowered, and flourishing life. You can still get the help you need even if you deny it. If you are ready to overcome denial and alter your life, get in touch with us right away.