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How Can You Tell if You Are Addicted to Stress and How it Impacts Recovery?

Recovery is a difficult time on the mind and body. It is hard to find ways of relieving stress that comes up, but some people are seemingly addicted to the pressure, high-performance nature of their jobs and, along with that, stress. Although it is not the same as addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can kick up some of the same chemicals in the brain and body in response and also drive a person to drink or do drugs to cope. High stress can be an indicator things need to change. Find out how to tell if stress is becoming too much and why it impacts recovery. 

Chronic Stress

Some people appear to thrive off of stressful scenarios and situations. They love to go for the big score on a project and feel great when they win approval at work. However, they still feel inferior, like a failure, and ashamed deep down. The stress drives them to try new things and expect big wins, but they are restless and unable to relax. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can make a region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens to become more sensitive do dopamine. This neurotransmitter makes people feel pleasure. Embracing fast-paced environments can lend itself to unchecked cortisol levels. Chronic stress can put the body on high alert and actually turn into an addiction to keep driving forward, pushing harder every single day. Stress, then, becomes a sort of natural ‘high’ where it was up this craving in a similar way to drugs. It is hard to get off the hamster wheel and relax when the body goes through withdrawal, in a way, without the stress it is so used to having.

Self Judgment

The hardest thing to do is not pass judgment on yourself for doing what you have always done. It was not that you did anything wrong, you did not realize that you were addicted to a pattern of behavior that was detrimental for you until you woke up one day and realized you needed to change. The signs of addiction to stress are consistently striving for the next goal, never being happy meeting goals, feeling like a constant failure, having heart and other health issues related to chronic stress, and not being able to relax when you are not working. Not only that, you may be turning to pills, substances, or alcohol to keep pushing yourself or to deal with the symptoms of chronic stress. This can lead to co-occurring disorders, including mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and other things that go along with chronic stress. 

Finding hope amidst the challenges means letting go of shame or blame to seek help. There is no shame in asking for help. Maybe a loved one needs to reach out and seek support. However you come to it, know that addiction recovery is the best thing you can do when you cannot stop pushing yourself past the breaking point and you may be finding yourself with other substance use disorders on top of it. Seek help and be open to finding new ways of moving forward in recovery. 

The Guest House understands your need to get away from life and find help for addiction and stress. That is why we provide a space where you can relax in rehab and get grounded. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 855-483-7800.