Just because my transition from extrovert to introvert has benefited me, does not mean it is the same for everyone. You might not realize that introverts have personality traits that could lead to addiction (while extroverts have their own specific set of traits that might make them addiction-prone, as well). Because introverts tend to prefer spending time alone, determining if he or she is struggling with an addiction based on isolation could be difficult.
If you are determined to always be alone, and are trying to deal with your addiction, it’s important to step outside your comfort zone, however you can. Addicts in recovery need to be around people and need to talk about their experiences, thoughts and feelings in order to grow. Because of fear of group settings, you may avoid going to rehab or support group meetings, which are tools that can otherwise greatly assist your recovery journey.
Since alcohol releases dopamine, it can help you to feel more confident in social situations, where you might talk more, or feel confident enough to approach others. This allows you to step outside of your comfort zone as an introvert. Alcohol can cause some introverts to self-medicate in order to get through social events. Whether it is work, or a family function, drugs or alcohol can be used to help introverts manage to make it through. When you become used to self-medicating for social events, you may run the risk of becoming addicted.
Positives of Being an Introvert in Recovery
They say introverts are deep, critical thinkers, meaning we see and understand the big picture. When you know the consequences of your actions you will be more likely to make the correct decisions. Other qualities that could help keep introverts sober are:
- Introverts are good listeners – Beneficial in rehab during support group meetings. Extroverts may go to support group meetings for more socialization, while introverts might be more focused on hear the message.
- Introverts are more receptive to meditation – Being able to clear your mind and be one with yourself can go a long way. Meditation is a popular recovery option for many holistic therapies.
- Introverts take time to reflect – Whether it is reflecting on your recovery or looking into a future decision, introverts with this ability are setting themselves up for a successful recovery.
- Introverts are okay with being alone – If you enjoy and draw energy from being alone you are less likely to put yourself in risky social situations.
- Introverts don’t need to party – Introverts do not need to go to big parties to have fun, which can help an addict in recovery. Extroverts in recovery may still feel they are missing out if they do not go to parties, this thinking could cause someone to relapse.
Knowing The Signs of Addiction
If you have a loved one who is an introvert, there’s a chance it could be more difficult to figure out whether they are using drugs or not, because they might naturally spend time alone. . Introverts also tend to be more reserved. Being high strung, talkative and antsy could be a personality trait, or conversely, there are similar crack addiction signs, which could even be confused with an extroverted personality. On the opposite end of the spectrum, introverted personality traits could be confused or blurred by with the reaction associated with drugs like marijuana or opiates (downers). Because of the distinction between personalities and the variety in drug highs, if an introverted person has a crack addiction, the signs might appear to be more obvious.
Basic Signs of Drug Addiction
- Spending more amounts of money, or needing money
- Health problems
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns
- Neglected appearance
- Performance or attendance problems at school or work
- Obsessive behavior
Treatment Options for Introverts
You may not find a public treatment facility for addiction to be suitable. As an introvert, it may be beneficial to receive your initial addiction treatment in a private one-on-one setting. This could allow you to connect deeper and share more personal issues that need to be addressed. Private addiction treatment and one-on-one counseling with a professional addiction counselor could be a great start. However, eventually, you will have to meet others during your recovery to share your story of strength and hope. This may seem like a difficult task, but you could have something to say that could change someone’s life, and in recovery helping others can be rewarding to you as well.
Dale is a writer and researcher in the fields of mental health and drug addiction. After a battle with addiction, Dale became the first in his family to earn his Bachelor’s degree and was able to find a job doing what he loves. Dale believes in writing about mental health and addiction to help get rid of the stigma associated with both. When not working you can look for Dale at your local basketball court.