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How Does Being an Introvert Affect Addiction Recovery?

man discusses addiction recovery with support group

You’ve probably heard the terms “introvert and extrovert”, but you may be misinformed about the characteristics associated with these personality types.  Many introverted people would not classify themselves as such, simply because introversion often has a negative connotation. Being introverted doesn’t mean avoiding other people or isolating yourself at home, but it does come with its own set of obstacles in addiction recovery.  By helping those in recovery to recognize the characteristics of introversion and understand their specific needs, we may be able to soften the transition to a sober lifestyle.       While there are many characteristics commonly assigned to both introverted and extroverted individuals, one of the easiest ways to determine which category you belong to is to observe what environment most depletes you of your energy.  Introverts are commonly misconstrued as antisocial, when in fact they might love being around people. What separates them from extroverted individuals is the need to spend time alone or in quiet spaces in order to recharge. Introverts often find large social gatherings or group activities to be mentally and physically draining, even when they are having fun.  Without taking time for themselves, excessive stimulation can lead to high stress and anxiety for introverts.   Addiction is often different for introverts because they chose to drink or do drugs so that they could masquerade as an extrovert.  Many drinkers who consider themselves the life of the party find that they are in fact deeply introverted people after becoming sober.  This doesn’t mean that introverted people aren’t fun or engaging without alcohol, but they may require a bit more self-care, and find they enjoy the occasional bit of solitude.  Introversion can also pose a unique challenge in common recovery settings, such as group therapy and support meetings. Introverts may find themselves having to push a little harder to participate and expose their internal selves to others without the assistance of drugs or alcohol.  The important thing to know for introverts with addictions is that all these adjustments are positive growth, and will lead to a more authentic life.   

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness.  If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.