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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Addiction Recovery: Social Media Impacts Well-Being

Men and women working programs of addiction recovery do well to remember that all the pieces matter. Emphasizing physical well-being is just as vital as taking steps to improve mental health, for example. Those who make their way from active addiction to sustained recovery come to understand that drug and alcohol use are symptoms of mental illness. A commitment to abstinence is paramount; but, refraining from use is only one facet of healing.

Remove mind-altering substances from the equation and other forms of mental health illness often plague people. No longer drinking and drugging, men and women learn that they are far from being out of the woods. The saying that ‘the only thing you need to change is everything’ could not be more accurate. Long-term addiction recovery asks individuals to make significant amendments to how they lead their life.

If lasting recovery is one’s goal, purging old behaviors and ways of looking at things are instrumental. Simply put, going to meetings is not enough; success depends upon engaging with the program and practicing principles that are foreign. Sharing in the rooms of recovery is vital, but so is listening. What’s more, the way men and women behave in meetings must continue in the outside world.

Curbing Social Media May Help Your Recovery

People who attend meetings of recovery are no strangers to the fact that many attendees stare at their smartphone while others are sharing. It could signal that addicts and alcoholics are excellent multi-taskers, or it could mean that many people are not emphasizing the importance of connecting with their peers. A disconnect from the community can breed loneliness and isolation, which can beget symptoms of depression. Seeing as depressive symptoms are a common occurrence among persons living with addiction, it’s critical that one do everything in their power to avoid activities that may affect their well-being.

A new study confirms, or at the very least supports, the passage above. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that limiting “screen time” could enhance life quality, mitigating the risk of experiencing depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness, according to Penn Today. The findings appear in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Psychologist Melissa G. Hunt and her team found a correlation between Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram use and decreased well-being, the article reports. To be clear, the researchers do not suggest ceasing all social media use, but they believe that screen time reductions can improve life quality.

“When you’re not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you’re actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life,” said Hunt. “In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.” 

Those of you in recovery, who spend a significant portion of your day on social media, may find that limiting use strengthens your program; this may be especially true for addicts and alcoholics with a co-occurring mental illness. Depression is, after all, one of the leading causes of relapse among those in recovery. You can even start small, by turning your phone off when attending meetings.

Addiction Recovery

The Haven at Pismo provides men and women battling addiction top quality treatment. Our safe and serene setting is the perfect environment to renew your best today. Please contact us to learn more about the services we offer and about how we can make the dream of recovery a reality for you or a loved one.