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How Does Rehab Affect a Person’s Emotions?

People all have different personalities and are going to show them at some point. Whether they are angry, sad, frustrated, tired, or any other range of emotions, it is hard to be around someone who is up and down and all over the place emotionally. This is why it makes it hard to deal with rehab because a person is going through detox and maybe ‘all over’ emotionally. This is actually normal and part of the process for the brain and body to rest into a state of equilibrium. As substances leave the body, the brain and bodywork to self-correct. Rehab is a difficult time for loved ones who witness their family members, friend, or another person they care about going through this time. Find out more about how rehab impacts a person’s emotions and what to do to support someone in rehab.

Emotional Challenges

Within a rehab setting, there are many different types of people in all stages of recovery. They may be seeking to get attention from one person or try to push their buttons. This is normal for recovery. Being part of a rehab facility means dealing with different personalities and emotions. Shedding addiction reveals the character of people in new and unexpected ways. Everyone is acting differently because their brains and bodies are getting adjusted to the new state they are in. Behaviors are triggered by the environment very easily and people are mostly on edge. Some people want to isolate and others want to engage with other people. But the mix of people makes it hard when they are all going through big ups and downs emotionally. People in rehab tend to feel overwhelmed by things, not be sleeping well, and maybe not eating as well as they like early on. This is part of the journey of healing.

Coping with Challenges

Family and friends may come to visit and notice a loved one is highly emotional, feeling up one minute, down the next. Taking into account existing mental health issues, they may also just be feeling lots of things going through therapy and working on their recovery. This is completely normal but it is also healthy to develop strategies to cope with others in rehab while also helping family members deal with their loved one’s emotions in a safe way:

  • Focus on health: commit to going to the gym and working out as much as possible when it is offered. Dealing with the thoughts and feelings brought on in recovery is tough but it is easier when people are getting exercise to work out frustrations
  • Take deep breaths: whether it is through breath work, group therapy, or other times, work on not taking other people’s emotions too seriously. Everyone is dealing with a lot. For loved ones witnessing someone go through high emotional states or low emotional states, this can feel scary. The key is to deeply breathe in and out a few times before talking to them or trying to engage them
  • Use conflict resolution tools: not everyone is out to get people, but it can feel that way in early recovery. It may feel vulnerable to see a loved one saying things early on that are not kind or express deep emotion. It is healthy to express what they feel, especially if they repress emotions with substances. Work on active listening, letting them feel heard, and also practicing conflict resolution skills both in and out of rehab

People in rehab dealing with a lot of things so it is natural they feel lots of emotions. Family and friends may struggle to understand how they feel but listening and learning to be present with them help a lot. Individuals who are in rehab can learn positive coping skills with their therapists that help them cope with others they meet and stay focused on their own recovery without losing sight of their personal goals. Rehab is a good practice place for the real world as there will be lots of triggers so the more a person can learn to cope positively in rehab, the better. 

The Guest House Ocala helps people learn how to cope with difficult emotions and behaviors in rehab. We teach you to conflict resolution skills, communication tools, and active breathing and listening exercises. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800