According to the book “Discovering Psychology”, an emotion is a “complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response.” The subjective experience of human emotion involves our own labels associated with each emotion – the broad range, or types, of experiences associated with each emotion. For example, the anger emotion may range from mildly annoyed to enraged. The physiological response is the body’s response controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, leaving us with sensations such as sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, flushed face, and more. Our behavioral response is the expression of our emotions; smiling, crying, laughing, and yelling are all cultural symbols that communicate how we are feeling. As you can see, there are many components to our emotions, and they each affect us greatly.
Addiction is marked by pain, and it is typically a long-term emotional pain that has progressed as a person has attempted to avoid dealing with people, places, things, and situations, leading them to feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, poor relationships, and other negative consequences that continue to build over time. If you’ve struggled with addiction in the past, you’ve likely become very familiar with the unpleasant feelings listed above. Many people try to self-medicate their daily problems through use of drugs or alcohol.
A study titled, “Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience aversive emotional states”, discussed the traits that some people experience that relate directly to their experiences of difficulty in life’s challenges; anxiety, neuroticism, ego strength, general maladjustment, repression-sensitization, and social desirability have been shown to cause people more distress in dealing with painful emotions. Therefore, treatment involves psychotherapy and group therapy – to help people develop proper coping mechanisms for life’s challenges. If you’ve been working hard in recovery, note that positive emotions can conversely have a wonderful effect on your journey.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation found that the increase of positive emotions, such as the sense of subjective power and freedom, greater self-esteem – and the attribution of change to internal and not to uncontrollable factors – enhanced success in recovery. In addition to this, the decrease of negative emotions such as having a sense of loss and instability, were found to have greatly benefitted participants’ success in a long-term residential treatment program. You’re not alone. Begin working towards changing your life for the better, starting today.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.