November 22, 2022
Silent Struggles: Common Reasons Why People Don’t Seek Addiction Treatment.
It can be challenging to recognize when you are struggling with the behaviors accompanying Addiction because it usually happens slowly over time. Then once you do, taking the first step to reach out to a professional can be very intimidating. There are several reasons that people avoid getting the help they need. Here are some of the most common reasons often reported.
- Dealing With Stigma & Labels – Sometimes, labels can be hard to accept because people are so much more than the challenges in life that cause their pain or hardship. They might assume that a therapist will judge them for their choices or conditions or look down on them as being “less than others.” While labels like “addict,” “alcoholic,“ “substance abuser,” etc. can help find resources to get help, they can also cause unnecessary negativity in a person’s own or others’ minds because of the stigma attached.
- Concern That Your Life Has to Change Drastically – It can be scary to imagine what might happen when you tell a therapist about your condition or the severity of your situation. You might wonder if you’re even ready or able to make changes that would impact your life. Perhaps you are worried about being in trouble or needing to involve other people around you in your recovery. Even showing up regularly to appointments might feel like a challenge.
- Feeling Shame or Lack of Self-Esteem – Everyone has things they want to work on in their life. Nobody is perfect and shouldn’t be expected to be. It might seem like other people have no problems or that things come easily to them, but that isn’t the case. But the good news is that we can work on ourselves and grow in vulnerable areas. Therapy can be an excellent tool to help you determine your goals and develop a plan for attaining them. Even small changes can cause your self-esteem to improve.
- Not Knowing Who to Ask for Help – Reaching out to a stranger, even if they are a professional, is understandably a difficult step. Who can you trust? Who has the experience to help you? Who will have compassion, patience, and a plan to help you? At times just picking up the phone and reaching out can feel like it’s beyond what you can do for yourself.
Motivation For Seeking Treatment
A significant reason why many seek treatment is due to financial problems and external pressures from family, friends, and legal circumstances. Another reason for seeking help is due to health concerns (a). Individuals, while actively experiencing Addiction, tend to neglect their health and experience severe physical and mental health issues. This tends to force many to contemplate the possibility of cutting back on their substance of choice.
When are we ready to seek Professional Help?
Seeking help is tied to the willingness to change one’s life direction. Unfortunately, individuals in the pre-contemplation stage of Addiction tend to ignore all the warning signs. But faced with significant problems in their relationships and careers, individuals slowly consider changing their attitude toward their substance of choice. This process is explained well in the Stage of Change Theory (b).
Stage of Change (Transtheoretical Model)
Using the Stages of Change, we can determine how ready we are to seek help. There are six stages of change, signifying the progression and readiness of a person’s desire to seek help.
- Pre-contemplation: not having any desire to take any action for change.
- Contemplation: we are noticing a significant problem and wish to take action in the future.
- Preparation: There is an intention to take action, and we might contemplate how to stop the addictive behavior.
- Action: We take action for a short period to stop the addictive behavior.
- Maintenance: We are working hard to maintain the changed behavior by staying sober and healthy.
- Termination: losing interest in returning to the negative behavior.
Get Professional Help Today
We at Panahi Counseling genuinely understand your position, seeking help because you hope for something better for yourself, despite how you are feeling right now. We want that for you and have years of experience helping others who wanted the same. Therefore, we hope you will trust us to come alongside you to help figure out the next steps for your situation. In addition, we intend to provide you with judgment-free, supportive, research-backed Therapy and can point you to other tools that you may find helpful.
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