How Does Rehab Affect People Emotionally?

Woman holding her hand against the side of her face.

There is a conception about recovery that it is merely the act of getting rid of dangerous substances, but the process involves so much more. Some people use alcohol or drugs as a means of masking unpleasant feelings. Whether users are aware of this or not, substance misuse deadens normal emotional responses.

These emotional responses can re-awaken in addiction recovery. Thus, when you attend a Florida rehab, you might experience some strong emotions. 

What Are Emotions? 

There are many different definitions of the word "emotion," but the vast consensus is that this refers to complex feelings that can result in psychological and physical changes, also influencing behavior and thought. Feelings and emotions are often used interchangeably, but emotions can involve many feelings at once, which can be confusing. This is particularly true when you are new to addiction recovery.

How Rehab Can Affect You Emotionally

Many people wonder what is in store for them when they enter rehab and stop using harmful substances. While recovery itself is rewarding, the process can be a challenge depending on your circumstances. 

Since substance misuse has allowed you to avoid most emotions for so long, there is a good chance that any underlying issues will surface once you enter rehab. Examples of strong emotions that people experience in rehab include:

  • Fear of consequences of drinking or using drugs
  • Anxiety about the future
  • Resentment and anger when something does not go your way
  • Guilt and shame about the past
  • Stress or depression due to past trauma
  • Boredom if there is not enough excitement or drama present
  • Loneliness due to separation from family or old friends
  • Joy and excitement about recovery and the future
Person jumping between two large rocks.

A Florida rehab can provide support and therapy to help you deal with strong emotions.

Why Strong Emotions in Recovery Might Be Dangerous

There is nothing wrong with experiencing emotions. In fact, this is encouraged in a controlled environment because it can lead to a healthy recovery. However, there are some dangers associated with these powerful emotions and feelings in early recovery. 

  • You may revert to irrational thinking which can lead to rash decisions, including recurrence of use.
  • Emotions such as resentment or boredom can be used as justifications for returning to alcohol or drug use.
  • If you become so overjoyed with your new life in recovery, you may come to believe that your troubles are in the past and you are "cured." Overconfidence can also lead to a recurrence of use. 
  • Strong emotions can lead to unhealthy "black and white thinking," which is living in extremes. 

What Can Be Done to Address Emotions in a Florida Rehab

When you attend the right rehab, you will not be left to your own devices when it comes to dealing with emotions. You will be provided with the support and guidance that you need through certain types of therapies that will help you address strong feelings and emotions in a healthy way.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one type of treatment that is commonly used. CBT can help by giving you the tools to recognize and address negative beliefs. This can also strengthen your confidence in addiction recovery and prevent recurrence of use.

The Orlando Recovery Center understands that strong emotions play a role in early recovery and offers CBT as one of its therapies. This type of treatment goes along with the compassionate and professional support you will be provided. Contact us now to learn more about admissions.