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Depreciated Happiness in Struggling with Addiction

What standard do you hold for happiness?  Is it a passing feeling, a state of mind, a conscious acknowledgment of a pleasant situation?  As with everything else, the experience of happiness changes vastly from person to person and can drastically shift even within the preferences of that individual.  However (and particularly in our culture of excess), these experiences and objects that bring pleasure can become less and less effective if they are not appreciated or if they are taken for granted.  What this means within struggling with addiction is that the process of detox and recovery can be much more difficult if the individual, who began substance abuse because of that depreciation, has to take in more and more in order to feel something akin to that first hit, over time.

Learn Gratitude to Reach Recovery

The depreciation of happiness is a phenomenon that stems from an imagined need to have more in order to really be happy.  For example, someone who has flown coach on airplanes all his life and then begins to use business class for work flights may claim that he can never go back because of the massive increase in enjoyment in his new seating.  However, he may soon realize that there isn’t anything more to look forward to, that he’s reached the pinnacle of air travel.  Though this should be a reason to be happy, he may become depressed in thinking that there isn’t anything better to aspire to and may then find himself dissatisfied with the upgrade, likely even less happy than when he’d flown coach.

The majority of people claim that they would be happier with more, but when it comes down to it, that does little to genuinely improve the state of their lives.  It’s only with gratitude and a true appreciation of life’s blessings that a person can avoid falling into the trap of having a lot to be thankful for but little satisfaction to back it up.  In terms of addiction, the struggle toward a longer-lasting happiness can be deadly.  In the famous example of mice drinking heroin-laced water, they did so chasing the high that made them “happy” on a very base and chemical level until they died.  The animals chose the temporary feeling of being uplifted over all else, including eating and other necessary life functions.  However, when they had more offered to them, such as the company of other mice, that became their higher focus.

It’s much the same with people.  Someone who is struggling with addiction may find it easier to fall into the habit of more and more or higher doses simply because it takes additional hits or drinks in order to feel the way they’d felt when they first tried the substance.  Indulgence can make it more and more difficult to work toward recovery, can make relapse more treacherous, and can have extremely perilous results if left unattended.  To begin making the big changes that can drastically improve one’s outlook, a person has to actively work toward gratitude.  “If we see everything as new, we really enjoy our time with people we care about, we enjoy the food we eat, and everything else becomes so much more enjoyable.”

For more information on struggling with addiction, alcohol rehab and drug treatment in Harford County, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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