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What is a “Victim Mentality”?

group of students walk in courtyard

The term “victim mentality” is often used to describe a manipulative and destructive person, but people with this mindset are likely hurting themselves as much as they are others.  Someone who always sees themselves as a victim will have trouble establishing trust, dwell on painful memories, and often refuse authentic and productive help from those around them.  Instead, they might lament constantly about their struggles, persuading their loved ones to enable their self-destructive behaviors. When coupled with addiction, a victim mentality is especially problematic, and must be identified and remedied through practical metal health care. Admitting to weaknesses and mistakes is hard for everyone.  Usually in life, when we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we can look back and point to a combination of personal missteps and external forces that brought us there.  For those exhibiting a victim mentality, however, it can feel impossibly to identify any fault of their own. People with this thought pattern feel that everyone is trying to bring them down, and bad things happen to them more often than others.  They will often spend a great deal of time and energy convincing others that their unfortunate circumstances are a product of bad luck and cruel people. For those experiencing addiction, a victim mentality can grow out of the desire to maintain the cycle of substance abuse.  For example, someone addicted to drugs or alcohol might believe that they must use substances to cope with their painful life.  They might also portray themselves as fragile and vulnerable to those around them so that they can avoid being pushed to seek treatment.  While it is true that many people with addictions have experienced trauma or mental illness, substance abuse is never the only option, nor is it a viable way to treat depression and anxiety.  Addiction treatment reverses the victim mentality by healing the underlying causes of emotional pain, as well as teaching the skills of accountability and self-empowerment.  

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.