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How Are We Affected by a Loss of Dignity?

Many of us, unfortunately, are confronted with situations and circumstances, relationships and interpersonal dynamics that leave us feeling as though we’re being denied our dignity. We’re mistreated and looked down upon. We’re told we’re less than human and shameful because of our addictions and mental health issues. We’re treated like monsters and criminals, told we’re pathetic, shunned, stereotyped and ostracized. People who are close to us, acquaintances and even strangers act as though they are superior to us. They might intentionally try to humiliate us. They might spite us because of our illnesses. We feel we’re being robbed of our humanity. How can we be affected when other people violate or otherwise undermine our sense of dignity?


When we are treated as less than, we can come to believe that we are in fact inferior to other people, unworthy and inadequate. Very often we try to escape this pain using our drugs of choice and other unhealthy coping mechanisms. We self-medicate from the lack of dignity and respect we feel from others. We start to see ourselves in this tainted light as well. Our self-image and self-perception can become skewed. We become self-harming and self-destructive. We condemn and judge ourselves. We deny ourselves self-love, self-respect, self-nurturing, and self-care. We stop being self-protective and looking out for our own needs. We stop prioritizing our well-being. Our addictions and mental health issues thrive and flourish with this kind of self-abandonment. In order to be strong enough to counter these very strong forces in our lives, we have to cultivate the dignity and self-respect to really allow ourselves to love and accept ourselves.

Outlook on Life

When we feel undignified, our outlook on life and the rest of the world can also become tainted in addition to our self-perception. We might feel more pessimistic about our chances of recovery and of being able to live a happy life. We might see the world as a harsh and unsupportive place. We might feel even more alone with our pain and isolate ourselves further as a result. We’re afraid of more interactions with people that might make us feel bad about ourselves, so we retreat inward and away from any public spaces where might feel unsafe or threatened. When we’re robbed of our dignity, not only can we feel insecure and self-hating, we can become increasingly negative and cynical about the world around us. Our negative thought patterns can absolutely exacerbate our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, and we can use our drugs of choice to cope with these additional feelings of pain.

At The Guest House Ocala, you will be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488