When You Take Care of Yourself You Don’t Need False Comfort

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

When a person who is suffering from some type of addiction, be it an addiction to alcohol or an addiction to prescription or illicit drugs, comes back from going to a detoxification and rehabilitation center the work is not done. This is sometimes difficult for even the person themselves to remember, much less the addict’s friends and family. Getting back into the swing of things at home can be more than challenging. It can sometimes feel demoralizing. The first and foremost responsibility for the person returning from treatment is to line up their aftercare treatment.

Addiction is a chronic disease and therefore requires constant maintenance to keep a person’s symptoms at bay. Continual remission of the symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction is not a given in the life of an addict. Therefore, continual recovery treatment in the form of behavioral therapy as well as group therapies like a 12 step program is vital. After someone has this aspect of treatment scheduled and confirmed they need to make sure they have everything they need to care for their own basic needs.


It can be very difficult for someone newly home from detox and rehab treatment to be motivated to do the everyday little things that keep their body safe and healthy. This is especially true for those who suffer from a dual diagnosis. Mental health disorders, especially many of the anxiety and depression disorders can sometimes come with a lack of self regard, or feelings of shame that can sometimes lead people to feeling like there’s no point in taking care of themselves. They may even feel like they don’t deserve to be taken care of. Another symptom of depression can be a genuine and severe lack of energy for those suffering from dual diagnosis. They may even have a hard time getting out of bed, much less getting into the shower.


The problem here lies in the fact that when someone’s basic needs are ignored or neglected, the person’s health and wellbeing will suffer sometimes quite dramatically. When someone is unclean for very long their skin may begin to break out or even break down. Without proper oral hygiene, a person’s oral health deteriorates, yes, but also they are at higher risk for cardiac trouble.

A very concerning truth is that this is a big feedback cycle. When someone feels too depressed and anxious, and is unable to care for themselves their self loathing becomes more potent and they then become even more less likely to take care of their basic needs. When they are in this state the person is at a high risk for relapse.  They are at risk of letting their guard down and picking up their needles, pipe, drink or whatever it was that first intoxicated them because when someone is unable to care for themselves they instead begin to try and self soothe, or self medicate in other ways, thereby reigniting their addiction symptoms and the chemical dependence that first took them to recovery treatment. South Florida rehab and detox facilities usually offers their patients psychiatric services like behavioral therapies, among others, to teach life skills and to help instill an intrinsic motivation and the self worth to care for oneself. But when someone gets back from therapy they could fall back into that space if their anxiety or depression resurfaces. This is, again, why continuing therapy is so vital to sustained sobriety.


Basic Self Care

When someone engages in good basic self care they rarely need false comforts such as intoxicants to fill the gaps in their lives, or help them cope with their everyday stress. Personal hygiene is one of the first hurdles of basic self care, but there are other things your body needs just as much like balanced, healthy meals, plenty of water, exercise, and proper rest.


Personal Hygiene: is all about making sure your physical body and environment are clean and cared for. Excellent hygiene keeps one’s physical form healthy by removing bacteria through frequent hand washing, bathing, and other sanitary actions. This assists in keeping someone healthy through reducing the likelihood that they will contract a disease.


Eating a Balanced Diet & Staying Hydrated: When people eat a consistent and balanced diet and they stay well hydrated their whole body functions better. They feel more awake during the day and are able to rest better at night. They also will have more energy and will likely be more efficient as they move throughout their days. When a person neglects to eat healthy well balanced meals they often can have blood sugar spikes or their blood sugar may plummet. When this happens a person’s mood as well as decision making skills can be compromised.


Exercise: Exercise is another important aspect of basic self care that must be addressed if a person wants to be holistically well.  When a person remains stagnant they may begin to feel weighed down, or like their bodies are slower than normal. They will likely begin to become somewhat depressed and they may even experience soreness in their joints and muscles from being too sedentary.  Not only that but consistent exercise can give a person way more energy than they had before regularly moving their bodies.


Rest: Sleep is something that many adults these days forget they need. It’s so difficult to keep up with everyday life anyway, it always seems to be the sleeping hours that get shaved away at. But if a person suffering from drug and alcohol addiction neglects their sleep needs they could be in serious risk of relapse. They may become less patient or start to change in mood and behavior. They may suffer short term memory loss or even begin to hallucinate if they go without sleep often enough. Though 8 hours of sleep is the number that most people believe is an optimal amount of sleep for adults, many don’t even get 6 hours a night. Without proper rest, the entire body is unable to function properly


Finding Treatment at South Florida Detox and Broward County Drug Rehab Facilities

1st Step Behavioral Health offers medical detox and rehabilitation programs for people suffering with drug or alcohol addictions. We offer the vital life skills education an addict might need through behavioral therapies to help patients get and stay sober.

Call us today to learn how to get started.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.