Dealing With Frustration While in Recovery: Things to Know

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Dealing With Frustration While in Recovery - Things to Know

While the road to recovery is not an easy route and may be paved with frustrations, doctors and health care professionals who work with people on their way to recovery from addiction can attest that dealing with frustration is part of the addiction recovery process.

Dealing with frustration is a usual occurrence for people who are going through drug sobriety or alcohol sobriety. Anger and frustration are two valid emotions that are usually felt in extremes. If you know anyone who is on addiction recovery, it is important to consider how such emotions are felt.

Anger and Frustration in Addiction Recovery Patients

People on the road to drug sobriety and alcohol sobriety are prone to bouts of anger and frustration. This is why one of the important matters that is dealt with in rehabilitation centers is developing anger management strategies. These strategies help patients manage their emotions and prevent relapse.

Relapse is among the greatest threats for patients on their way to drug addiction recovery or alcohol addiction recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40% to 60% of substance use disorders fall into a relapse. Relapse happens as a natural part of the process of recovery from addiction. It is when patients stop maintaining their goal of minimizing their drug or alcohol usage. A relapse is a sign for a patient to resume, modify, or get new treatment in order to recover.

The Three Stages Of Relapse

Although relapse is a natural part of the process of recovery, a patient that undergoes relapse should be completely monitored. There are three stages of relapse: the emotional stage, the mental stage, and the physical stage.

1. Emotional Relapse

The emotional stage during addiction recovery is when the patient feels anger and frustration. During this time, the patient will isolate themselves and refuse to attend rehabilitation meetings. When all the anger and frustration are not checked, they will surely become dangerous, especially when the patient comes back to the habit of abusing substances.

Frequent monitoring is needed for patients who undergo relapse. Doctors and health care professionals should always be ready in case a patient falls out of their rehabilitation routine and starts looking for their usual fix.

2. Mental Relapse

When patients who undergo emotional relapse are not given the right treatment immediately, it can worsen and lead to mental relapse. During a mental relapse, the patient goes to war inside their heads. It is a constant battle and argument on whether they want to consume alcohol or drugs or not.

The usual signs of mental relapse are as follows:

  • Cravings related to substance use
  • Romanticizing substance abuse and feeling nostalgic about places or people associated with the substance
  • Hanging out with people who are also substance abusers
  • Bargaining for a hit
  • Looking for relapse opportunities

3. Physical Relapse

When worse comes to worst, and the early signs of emotional and mental relapse in a patient are ignored, it can surely lead to physical relapse. Physical relapse is when the patient loses the will to recover and goes back to consuming alcohol or drugs.

Common Causes of Anger and Frustration in Recovery Patients

Anger is usually one of the emotions that surface initially in people who are recovering from addiction. However, if you dig deeper, anger often hides other emotions and psychological issues.

The anxiety of recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can put too much pressure on a patient, and this can affect their mental health and emotions. Although they will drive themselves away from people, the frequent isolation can bring out negative thoughts and trauma that will make them develop the need to consume substances once again.

The first step in dealing with frustration is to understand the common causes and triggers of anger. Here are the common triggers exhibited by patients on their road to recovery from addiction:

1. Exhaustion

Physical and emotional exhaustion can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. In the case of patients, who are on their way to addiction recovery, the recurring sessions and the inability to induce dopamine production (in this case via substance abuse) can trigger anger attacks if not dealt with properly. Emotional exhaustion can lead patients to be reclusive.

2. Anxiety and the Feeling of Being Misunderstood

Patients in addiction recovery often experience anxiety about getting back as a functional member of society. This anxiety, mixed with the shame of undergoing rehabilitation and the overall feeling of being misunderstood, will often manifest as anger. If pushed to the edge, patients can exhibit explosive bouts of anger.

3. Helplessness

Sometimes when patients feel stuck, they begin to think that the world is against them. This sense of helplessness triggers bouts of anger that can lead them to isolate themselves and be absent from their rehabilitation meetings. This feeling of helplessness can be traced if a patient shows signs of depression and other mental illnesses.

How To Deal With Anger and Frustration

Dealing with frustration can be difficult. People on their way to addiction recovery are taught various strategies on how to manage their anger and pour out their emotions in a healthy manner. This is beneficial, especially if we want to prevent a relapse.

If you are a recovering addict and have been experiencing bouts of anger and frustration, do not worry. There are manageable ways of handling frustration, and none of them involve shelling out cash. You can do this in the comfort of your own home or in your free time.

1. Find someone to talk with.

For recovering addicts, opening up to people might be one of the hardest things to do. However, it is important to let the frustrating thoughts out of your mind. Find someone to talk with whom you are sure will never judge and will listen to every word you say. It doesn’t have to be an immediate family member. It can be a friend or an acquaintance. It can even be a co-worker who has a similar experience as yours. Finding a kindred spirit can help immensely in dissipating the negative ideas that manifest in the mind.

2. Meditate and practice mindfulness.

It is easy to get lost in the whirlwind of negative thoughts and reality checks. However, one must recognize that this is merely a part of the recovery process. In order to get back and help you calm down, a good meditation exercise can help.

Start with the usual breathing exercises with available guides online. If you can join a yoga class, that would be of great help, too. Walking in green spaces or simply being around nature can be meditative.

3. Begin journaling.

This is particularly useful for people who have social anxiety or find it difficult to open up to anybody. Journaling is a good way to de-stress as well as release negative thoughts and emotions. It can also help dissipate the feelings of anxiety and frustration by focusing on designing, writing, and giving yourself an avenue to be creative.

4. Do some exercises.

If you have to stay at home and you are starting to feel the effects of anxiety and frustration, you can channel your energy into doing some simple exercises instead.

You do not need to have fancy gadgets for exercise. You can always search for videos on the Internet that will serve as a guide to your exercise routine. Cardio workouts can be a good start for these kinds of exercises. If you have exercise equipment at home like dumbbells or a treadmill, it is high time that you use them. Physical activity can help release dopamine, and it will make you feel relatively better.

5. Read a book.

Nothing liberates the mind from anxiety and frustration than by reading a book. Reading makes use of the imagination, and if you spend your time reading, you will surely channel your energy to thinking about scenarios, dialogues, and ideas.

Do not limit yourself to fiction. It will also help if you check inspirational nonfiction and biographies. Join a book club or subscribe to magazines and broadsheets and spend an hour or two reading. Turn a specific corner in your house into a reading nook, grab a healthy snack, and read the hours away.

6. Practice self-positivity.

A little pep talk can go a long way. Fill yourself with positive vibes by giving yourself a little boost of self-talk. Compliment yourself in front of the mirror and encourage yourself to be the best you. Results may not be immediate, but at least you have a good start.

7. Seek professional help.

Of course, no matter how much we do things our way, at the end of the day, addiction is a condition that must be dealt with with the help of experts. The road to drug addiction recovery or alcohol addiction recovery is challenging. More often than not, a leap forward can be met with a giant leap backward. Patience and understanding, together with the correct medical attention, can help a person bounce back and be successful in overcoming frustrations.

If you know someone who is undergoing relapse and is exhibiting signs of frustration, it is best to take them to the doctor immediately. Doctors and health care professionals who specialize in rehabilitation will know what to do and how to help the patient.

Haven House Recovery Center Can Help People In Their Recovery From Addiction

If you are in need of a place to start your journey in addiction recovery in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Haven House Recovery Center can be your sanctuary. Haven House Recovery Center has helped men in their drug addiction recovery and alcohol addiction recovery.

Our 12-step program is a mix of medical detox and rehabilitation program coupled with faith-based lessons, specifically designed for recovery from addiction in order to prepare recovering men to become functional members of society once again. Call us now and book an appointment!

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