Stages of Denial During Addiction

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Addiction is a brain condition marked by obsessive behaviors that persist in the face of negative or dangerous consequences. When most people think of addiction, they think of abusing drugs or alcohol. However, various types of drug abuse, gambling, sexual thoughts, cravings, and acts may all be forms of addiction. More often than not, addicts tend to make excuses for their actions. In order to help individuals struggling with addiction, we first must learn how to detect the warning signs of addiction denial. In today’s article, we’ll talk about the common signs of addiction, the different types of denial, the stages of denial during addiction, and ways to deal with the consequences.

Types of Denial

Denial, in its broadest definition, is the reluctance to acknowledge the truth and the inclination to distort reality. In psychology, denial is a defense mechanism that causes the sufferer to ignore or dismiss evidence that contradicts their worldview. This subconscious reality-bending serves a variety of purposes. When someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, their denial takes on a strict and militant shape. Although in general, most individuals participate in some type of denial when confronted with situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

In the field of addiction studies, there are two types of denial that have been identified: type A and type B. Addiction is characterized by two distinct forms of denial, which are as follows:

Type A: The individual is aware that there is an issue. When confronted, the individual rejects it in spite of knowing it is true.

Type B: The individual may be either superficially or deeply unaware of the issue at hand. A person may convince themselves there is no issue by engaging in avoidance, rationalization, justification, or excuse-making.

Once an individual recognizes the reality of their addiction, their denial does not magically vanish. It might reappear at various points. It’s vital to grasp the multifaced nature of denial and the ways in which it manifests, from a purely mental to a more spiritual level. Mentally acknowledging the existence of an issue is different from internalizing the reality of that issue. Someone who is in such persistent denial often relapses. Unfortunately, when a person with a drug use disorder lives in denial and doesn’t want to implement any of the addiction solutions Florida, they prolong their misery and prevent any serious attempts at recovery from getting off the ground. Before we move on to stages of denial, we’ll quickly discuss how to tell whether you or someone you care about is addicted. And then, we’ll dive into the symptoms of denial throughout addiction.

Warning Signs of Addiction You Shouldn’t Ignore

Warning signs of addiction might differ greatly across individuals. Any of the following signs in yourself or a loved one should make you question whether or not usage has progressed to abuse or addiction:

  • Being unable to abstain from alcohol or drug usage despite your best intentions. There are instances when trying to stop fails miserably.
  • Manifesting withdrawal signs in the absence of alcohol or drugs. These signs and symptoms may manifest in either the body or the mind. Any external withdrawal symptoms are a certain indicator that addiction has already taken hold, whether they be cravings, general moodiness, melancholy, irritability, sleeplessness, or excessive sweating.
  • When drug or alcohol usage becomes habitual, the user loses interest in previously enjoyed activities. Substantial deviations from normal behavior when drinking or using drugs are indicative of dependence on the substance. These deviations can take the form of abandoning old friends in favor of new drinking and drugging companions or the avoidance of situations where there is no access to alcohol or drugs.
a man suffering from addiction
Addiction is not a pleasant thing to talk to about for most people.
  • Addiction is often present in a loved one who continues to drink or use drugs despite negative consequences to their health.
  • If you find someone’s drug or alcohol stash, you can bet that they are already addicted to it.
  • If you see someone having money problems as a consequence of their drinking or drug use, it may be a sign that their drinking or drug use is becoming out of hand. Whether you’re seeing a decline in your own household’s budget or seeing a friend or loved one’s growing inability to pay their rent, money problems are often an indicator of a problem with alcohol or drug abuse. Sadly, finances can influence recovery as well. You need to ask does Amerihealth cover drug rehab in your selected institution before making an appointment. Your insurance plays a big deal in the whole process.

The 3 Stages of Denial During Addiction

Because it is virtually impossible for an addict to accept the severity of the problem, they can get pretty good at deconstructing your belief that they are in denial. You have to put in a lot of work in order to get them to acknowledge the situation they are in. These three stages show how denial prevents a person from realizing the truth of their situation. You must understand what’s happening in their head before trying to be rational with them.

Stage One

When a person is in the first stage of denial, they honestly do not think that addiction exists. In their mind, there’s no way that addiction is their problem. Or, they sort of insinuate that they do have some from a substance addiction but then they are quick to dispute that addiction itself is a disease. A person who has reached this stage is unable to see the bigger picture, even when confronted with overwhelming facts. The most important thing to do at this time is to convince the person that addiction is not, in fact, a minor issue. Intellectual acceptance may pave the way to increased self-awareness as well as a better comprehension of what is happening.

Stage Two

In stage two, they might have been able to come to their senses a tiny bit. They may have even gone for a therapy session or professional screening. They may even be in intensive outpatient program Florida. This does not signify that a person is on the way to treatment. If their addiction has progressed a lot, they won’t be able to follow through with their treatment even if they have the best intention. Some people at this stage tend to be in denial of being helpless. Their addiction is overpowering them at this time. Intentions are not the same thing as actions.

an addict in rehab
You shouldn’t force an addict into rehab under any circumstances.

To mature and go beyond this level, one must cultivate their inner vision. Conquering this stage of denial requires shifting their self-dependency to a higher power. This is the key to success. A person has to come to terms with the fact that they are helpless over their addiction and that they need assistance from a higher power in order to stay sober.

Stage Three

In order to remain sober, a firm commitment is required. When a person has other issues and priorities, their recovery and sobriety are not being focused on or intentionally worked on. At this stage, an addict has already recognized the problem and stopped running away from reality. But they are not able to follow through with their entire treatment. Which oftentimes includes abstaining from all substances. This may result in relapse if they don’t follow their instructions correctly. You can fall into relapse even if you are in Adderall addiction rehab. Adderall is much less dangerous than some other common drug issues people have, but it can still shake up your boat quite a lot.

A person who is currently in this stage will only be able to go over denial by fully devoting themselves to the process of healing and reaching out for help. Participating in therapy sessions, and support groups, finding a sponsor, or talking to other people who are going through the same thing as you may help you develop support for the hard days that are to come. Oftentimes, the addict will have to go to inpatient rehab Florida, if the doctors find it more suitable for their condition.

How to spot a person in denial?

  • Manipulation tactics. Playing the victim or the martyr is a common tactic used for this purpose.
  • A defensive stance when questioned about substance abuse. When confronted with their excessive drinking, people in denial often accuse the person who has spoken out against them of condemning them.
a girl in denial during addiction
It’s very hard to approach someone in denial during addiction. You should consult a professional about it.
  • One of the most recognizable symptoms of denial is an out-of-character refusal to acknowledge responsibility for one’s own destructive actions.
  • Denial is often shown by the practice of shifting responsibility for one’s actions away from oneself, such as happens when someone is drunk or high.
  • Justification of addictive behavior, often expressed as “I could quit any time I choose, I simply don’t want to. No one can get the better of me since I have everything under control.” However, deeds are more persuasive than words. Evidence of denial is there when the individual in issue is obviously not in charge.

Denial of a problem’s existence in the face of overwhelming evidence is a red flag. Is there a chance that you, or someone you know, exhibits any of these symptoms of denial during addiction? If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering how you could aid them in seeking drug rehab Palm Beach. Take a look at the next paragraph and find out the answers.

Best Strategies for Dealing with Denial During Addiction

Since denial is a subconscious process, the difficulty with avoiding addiction denial is that the individual in question is unaware of what they are doing. Still, there are tried-and-true approaches of overcoming this obstacle to abstinence. Although some may find success with them, others may find that none of these approaches are right for them. Take into consideration which of the following methods would work best for your loved one:

1. Journaling

Starting a drug or alcohol diary might be helpful for someone in denial who may not be aware of how much they are drinking or using drugs. Get them to establish a food diary where they may be completely transparent about their eating or drinking habits. If they’re open to the notion, writing down their own numbers might help them realize they have an addiction issue. This method has encouraged many to consider alcohol rehab Florida and many of them are now fully recovered.

a man writing in a journal
Journaling can help with denial during addiction.

2. Don’t be too pushy

You should not try to set up an appointment with an addiction therapist for your loved one without their permission. Forcing the topic usually only leads to further pushback. A therapist may assist a patient in breaking down the barriers of denial and getting back on the path to health if the patient is willing to do so.

3. Talk to a recovered addict

If you or a loved one has a friend or relative who has overcome an addiction, having an open and honest conversation with them about their experience may help them embrace change. They can help you in more ways than you’d think. Check with them about which institutions they went to, and what was their experience like. They are sure to give you some recommendations. You can ask them questions like ‘Where should I go? What insurance did you have? Does Aetna cover alcohol rehab‘? Talking to recovered addicts will not only help you become more motivated, they can also provide some valuable information.

4. Stop lending money

It’s tempting to shield a loved one from the unpleasant effects of their addiction, yet doing so just keeps the cycle going. If you suspect they are spending the money you provide them on drugs or alcohol, you should stop giving it to them. Especially if they are on heavy drugs like crack cocaine. You are actually disrupting their crack cocaine rehab this way. So stop using excuses for illness to get out of work. Don’t defend them any longer. Slowly taking away this safety net will compel them to face the consequences of their choices.

a woman counting money
As hard as it is, you need to learn to say no.

5. Attending a recovery meeting

Even if your loved one is certain that they are not addicted to alcohol or drugs and shows no sign of wanting to become clean, encouraging them to attend a single recovery meeting like NA or AA will put them in close contact with a group of individuals who are experiencing the same kinds of problems. There may be some valuable lessons to be learned here.

Final Note

The power of denial is great, but the power of recovery is greater. Denial during addiction is basically a part of the process. We’re here to assist you to realize the extent to which addiction has taken over your life. Give us a ring if you want to talk about how we can help you on your road to wellness.



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