Chemical addiction isn’t just a physiological process. Although this part of the dependence forms quickly, there’s a mental component to the disease as well. Treating it takes longer and requires stabilization of the physical addiction. Addiction therapy services are crucial to working through psychological dependence. Here’s what you need to know about psychological dependence.
Psychological Dependence Involves Emotions and Thought Processes
Physiological withdrawal symptoms typically include gastrointestinal upset, muscle cramps, and insomnia. Depending on the drug you’ve been taking, there may also be a danger of seizure activity. Withdrawal symptoms of psychological dependence include the development of anxiety disorders, depression, or psychosis. You may experience these symptoms even after physical signs of withdrawal subside.
As you continue to undergo withdrawal, your mind will respond with intense cravings for the substance. Hand-in-hand with these manifestations come irritation, anger, and feelings of frustration. Some people will find that they eat a lot more to make themselves feel good. Others may increase a smoking habit.
Both Types of Withdrawal Symptoms Need Concurrent Treatment
It’s impossible to treat signs of physiological and psychological dependence separately. Both happen at the same time and need attention. Through addiction treatment programs at a high-quality facility, specialists will work with you to manage both. Possible modalities include:
- Pharmacological support for physiological symptoms that make withdrawal painful or very uncomfortable
- Assessment for a dual diagnosis that assists with the treatment of co-occurring mental health problems such as depression or anxiety
- One-on-one counseling with an addiction treatment therapist who understands the rollercoaster of feelings and sensations
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a means for changing dysfunction in your thought processes to replace them with healthy ones
- Experiential therapy, which allows for hands-on expressions of your emotions and thoughts
- Nutritional support of physical and emotional wellness through the round-the-clock availability of healthy meals and snacks
Life skills training and addiction education to prepare you for independent living after discharge
What Makes it so Difficult to Overcome a Psychological Dependence?
Changing physiological responses to stimuli is relatively easy. As the body regains equilibrium, it resets itself to function without the drug. The mind doesn’t work in this same way. It doesn’t reset itself but holds on to feelings and memories of emotions for a long time.
Only by exchanging unhealthy patterns for healthy ones is it possible to affect change. However, this isn’t a process that happens overnight. It takes a little while to retrain the mind and start new habits. That’s why detox usually takes about a week while rehab may take anywhere from 30 to 120 days or longer.
The good news is that change is possible. Overcoming the psychological portion of chemical dependency is within reach. You don’t have to continue using a drug just to hold off the withdrawal symptoms. But you need to get help to do so.
Addiction is a chronic disease that responds well to treatment. Case in point is the care that Gateway Foundation Jacksonville provides. Contact Gateway Foundation Jacksonville and our intake counselors at [DirectNumber] now to learn more about overcoming psychological dependence.