Why Do I Isolate Myself? | Self Isolation in Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a new sense of isolation for most people across the country. Lockdown and restrictions regarding where we could go as well as when and how we could do certain activities forced us to stay home and distance ourselves from others for long periods of time. Even before the pandemic, there was a group of individuals who would isolate themselves for other reasons. Self isolation in recovery has many root causes and is probably based in the underlying reason for the addiction itself.

A Growing Epidemic

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a growing epidemic in the US. A rising addiction rate and a growth in deaths caused by drug overdose, alcohol abuse, and suicide have been and continue to be a serious concern. Over one million people in the US have died in the past decade from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. As a result, life expectancy decreased in 2017 for the time in 20 years. The combined death rate for drugs, alcohol, and suicide increased six percent from 2016 to 2017, rising to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Many of these individuals died in isolation.

A Disease of Isolation

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of isolation. One theory for this is that people who are addicted want to be alone. Their desire may stem from an inability to connect with other people, either because of an attachment disorder or some other mental health concern. They tend to feel a sense of disconnect, even in a room crowded with other people.

Their sense of isolation could be one of the reasons they became addicted, as they turned to drugs or alcohol to help them manage their stress and deal with things that happen in their lives rather than turning to another human being. In the same manner, addiction can destroy an individual’s ability to develop a healthy relationship and many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol end up destroying friendships and marriages because of their substance use and reckless behavior.

When a person is addicted, they may believe that their only friend or ally is the drug or alcohol itself. They tend to develop an emotional attachment to the addictive substance rather than to other people. Distancing from other humans is something of a defensive measure, to ensure that the addiction can continue without being threatened by another individual.

Worsened Physical and Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that a feeling of loneliness is related to worse mental and physical health. The results of the research also show that loneliness has a direct relationship with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, high risk behaviors, anxiety, tension, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse. Substance abuse may be linked to isolation and loneliness as being a way out of the negative feelings. The individual acquires a new feeling of security while using drugs or alcohol, satisfying their psychological and emotional needs. The study also indicated a greater sense of familial loneliness in those addicted to drugs.

Stigma and a Sense of Shame

While addiction may stem from a sense of isolation, a conscious desire to be separated from other people, self isolation may come out of a sense of shame and the stigma around drug and alcohol addiction, even in recovery. As the individual loses the support of their family and friends, they may fall deeper into isolation.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is starting to be recognized as a chronic disease but it is still viewed by some as being the individual’s fault or a result of a lack of will power. Overcoming that misconception can be extremely helpful to the individual in recovery who needs to move forward with their lives in a positive way.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we support you through your addiction treatment and recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Some mental health conditions are thought to be more prevalent in women. However, men can be just as challenged with the struggles of mental illness. Given the stigma associated with mental health conditions, men are less likely to acknowledge their issues and to seek treatment. Borderline personality disorder in men is a condition that needs more attention, particularly for those men needing help with its impact on their lives.

Difficulty Regulating Emotion

When an individual has difficulties regulating their emotions, they may be diagnosed with a condition known as borderline personality disorder. Those who experience this condition will feel their emotions intensely for long periods of time. It is usually more difficult for them to return to a stable baseline after they’ve gone through an emotionally triggering event.

The inability to regulate emotion can lead to poor self-image, difficult relationships, impulsiveness, and an intensely emotional response to stressors. When a person struggles with self-regulation, they can also engage in dangerous behaviors, including self-harm.

Misdiagnosed in Men

About 1.4% of adults in the US experience borderline personality disorder. Almost three-fourths of those diagnosed are women. However, research suggests that men may be equally affected by the condition but are often misdiagnosed with other mental health conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), conduct disorder, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests that, rather than looking at each symptom separately in a man, the key may be to look at the collection of symptoms as a whole as well as the intensity of the emotions he experiences.

Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Borderline personality disorder in men may manifest itself in the following symptoms, which are considered red flags to look for by NAMI.

Numerous and frequent relationships, often close together. A man with borderline personality disorder will experience a fear of abandonment and, as a result, refuse to commit to a romantic relationship. He may have multiple relationships, close together, that end after an argument or when he scares his partner away with a quick temper and possible physical aggression. He will have issues with controlling his emotions which often results in a quick ending to the relationship. He will then move on to a new relationship relatively quickly.

Behaviors and attitudes filled with drama. Women are usually thought of as being dramatic, but men can be so as well. Their drama will look a little different, though. A man with borderline personality disorder will have fluctuating emotions that can range from respect and idealizing someone to becoming emotionally detached and resentful. This drama can also affect a man’s frequent and turbulent romantic relationships.

Thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that are constantly up and down. A man with borderline personality disorder can change quickly from being warm and loving to being cold and distant, even angry and hostile. He can exhibit a stable and consistent pattern of behavior for a while and then suddenly change into what may seem like a completely different person.

Behaviors that seem designed to draw attention. Men with borderline personality disorder seem to want attention. They will engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting, and then draw attention to the fact that they have done so. They may exhibit a loud attitude, make accusations of being unloved and abandoned, or be aggressive in an effort to gain attention. Other risky behaviors can be unprotected sex, fathering children with different women, and making threats to keep everyone afraid of him.

Dependency and co-dependency. An individual’s fear of abandonment can make it difficult for him to maintain a healthy, safe, and satisfying relationship. In contrast, he may engage in a dependent or co-dependent relationship with someone who relies on him, emotionally and psychologically. The relationship is dependent on his partner, who may be just as psychologically and emotionally unstable as the man with borderline personality disorder.

Manipulating loved ones with suicide threats or attempts. In an effort to manipulate a loved one or to convince them that he is lovable, a man with borderline personality disorder may threaten suicide. For example, a man who becomes jealous of his wife talking to another man may threaten suicide if she does not stop talking to him.

Suicidal thoughts that alleviate the pain. Some men will seriously consider suicide when the symptoms of their mental health condition cause difficulties in their life. Their pain and their fear of abandonment is so intensified that their suicidal thoughts may temporarily comfort them.  

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

When you are experiencing the symptoms of a mental health condition such as borderline personality disorder, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. Asking for help is a sign of strength. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and substance use issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Addiction Quotes | Inspirational Quotes for Men

Sometimes an inspiring word is what you need to keep you focused and to keep you going. When you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a powerful, empathetic word can lift you up and give you the focus you need to continue on your journey toward recovery. Inspirational addiction quotes for men going through addiction and wanting to heal can help you or your loved get and stay sober.

Words of Guidance and Encouragement

It only takes a few words, sometimes, to reignite your drive toward recovery. Take courage and follow your path to a fuller life.

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Quotes from People Who Have Been There

No one knows your challenges like someone who has been addicted and who has been through treatment.

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest.” – Robert Downey Jr., actor

“I’ve been sober for 18 years now. It wasn’t like you flick a switch, and you’re sober. It takes a while. You have to learn how to do everything all over again. There is life after addiction, and it’s really good. If I had known, I’d have stopped earlier.” – Joe Walsh, musician

“Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again.” – Shane Niemeyer, motivational speaker and author, formerly an overweight, homeless drug addict.

Words of Hope and Resilience

Resilience is the ability to cope with a crisis or stressful situation mentally and emotionally. Being resilient gives you hope for your future.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.” – Stephen King, author

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” – Brian Tracy, self-development author

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli, behavioral science academic, best-selling author, and speaker.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes from Those Who’ve Succeeded Over Struggles

Sometimes, inspirational quotes come not from the world of addiction, but from people who’ve experienced other types of struggles and, more importantly, have overcome their challenges.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, inventor

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoléon Bonaparte, French political and military leader

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela,  political leader, anti-apartheid revolutionary, and philanthropist.

Inspirational Quotes to Help You Believe in Yourself

You can overcome your addiction. Believe that you can do it, with a little help. The time to start is now.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen, founder and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Signs of Depression in Men | Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For men, especially, it is critically important to understand how mental health can impact your life. Recognizing the signs of depression in men, which can be very different from those in women, can mean the difference to your health and well-being.

Not a Sign of Weakness

One of the most important aspects of mental health to understand is that having depression and seeking treatment for the condition is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it takes courage to reach out and get help when you are experiencing the signs of depression. Stigma can keep you from making the effort to see your symptoms for what they truly are and in light of how they are impacting your life.

A Leading Cause of Death

Depression and suicide are ranked among the leading causes of death in men. Six million men in the US are affected by the mental health condition every year. Men die by suicide at a rate four times higher than women. Men often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms of depression. Consequently, they are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than women and are two to three times more likely to misuse drugs than women.

Signs and Symptoms in Men

Depression affects a large number of men, but they are typically less likely to recognize or seek treatment for their depression. They usually do not want to talk about it at all. Their symptoms may manifest in very different ways from symptoms that women may experience. While women may appear sad, men often seem angry, aggressive, or irritable. In fact, the signs of depression in men are often mistaken for other issues, another reason the mental health condition usually goes untreated.

Other common signs of depression in men, which might “mask” the condition itself, include:

  • Feeling “on edge,” anxious, or restless
  • Problems with sexual desire and performance or engaging in risky sexual behavior
  • Loss of interest in work or in activities that were once enjoyable
  • An inability to concentrate or remember details
  • Changes in eating habits such as overeating or not eating
  • Physical pains, including headaches and digestive issues
  • Withdrawing from friends or family members
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • An increased use and misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.

While women who are experiencing depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to complete the act and die by suicide as they tend to use more lethal methods in their attempts.

Risk Factors

One of the most common mental disorders in the US, depression is caused by a combination of risk factors that can include:

  • Environmental stress such as financial issues, major life changes, problems at work, loss of a loved one, or a difficult relationship. In fact, any significantly stressful situation they encounter in their daily lives may trigger the mental health condition in men.
  • Genetic factors for those men who have a family history of depression.
  • Serious illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. While the illness itself may cause depression, medications taken for the condition may also involve side effects that cause or worsen depression in men.

Real Men Do Ask for Help

Ignoring depression won’t make the symptoms go away. The mental health condition could lead to other serious issues, such as drug or alcohol abuse. Trying to battle it on your own is never a good plan. You need someone who understands what you are going through and who can offer the treatment options you need to be healthier, mentally and physically. In fact, you will be making a smart decision by reaching out for help when you recognize the signs of depression.

Help for Men at PACE

Asking for help is a sign of strength. When you need help with your mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and substance use issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

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