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Therapy for Addiction: How Do I Know if Therapy’s Working?

Addiction can be one of the most complicated mental health conditions to treat – however once the right form of therapy is in place, even those in the deepest depths of addiction can find a way to get back on the road to recovery.

Addiction and substance abuse is often complicated to treat due to the vicious circle that the combination of the two conditions can create. For many people who suffer with both addiction and poor mental health, it is a case of the “chicken and the egg” and working out what came first can feel impossible.

Those suffering with mental health often look for some sort of vice or release for their emotions, before sharing their problems with a loved one or seeking the help of a mental health professional. However, a vice for your mental health problems can often mean an ongoing cycle between your mental health and addictions with one fueling the other.

Substance abuse and addiction often – if not always – worsens the mental health of a person and when someone abuses a substance or alcohol in order to deal with their emotions, it can often cause mental health conditions to worsen and therefore worsen addictions or increase alcohol addictions.

Many studies across the world have explored the connection between mental health and substance abuse, however to this day it is unknown whether one causes the other or vice versa, because whilst some seek alcohol and other drugs to numb their mental health, the abuse of alcohol and other substances can cause a number of different mental health conditions that can worsen with substance abuse.

Whilst a number of international studies explored the connection between mental health and substance abuse, a number of others have found therapy to be the most effective option for those struggling with both. However, everyone reacts to therapy differently and the approach – even within similar conditions can vary from person to person.

GP’s on the NHS recently admitted that mental health treatment was often treated by “trial and error” with many patients being prescribed the incorrect treatment – preventing many of those seeking help, from returning to their GP, continuing their treatment or trying out other methods due to failure the first-time round.

If you’re thinking about seeking treatment or are already in therapy for addiction and/or your mental health, how can you know it is working for you?

Therapy for addiction and substance abuse: is it working for you?

When it comes to seeking therapy, it is important to remember that every person’s journey – both with mental health and with addiction and substance abuse – is different and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to treatment. However, once you have begun treatment, knowing whether or not it is working for you can be paramount towards your recovery – but just how do you know what is working and what isn’t?

Once you have participated in a couple of sessions, there are a few things you can look out for to know whether or not your current form of therapy is working or not. If the therapy you have chosen is right for you, you will be likely to notice a number of different changes both in your attitude and your lifestyle.

Positive signs that therapy is working

1. You trust your therapist

Starting therapy can be nerve wracking and trying to open to someone who is a new fixture in your life can feel impossible – however, as you get to know your therapist and work through your problems together, if the therapy is working you will be a lot more likely to trust in your therapist and have fewer issues in opening up.

2. Your relationships improve

Mental Health affects every aspect of our lives, but for many people it is how their relationships are affected that is the biggest problem. If your therapy is working well for you, it is likely you will find your relationships with loved ones, friends and even your work colleagues improving.

3. You can hear your therapist’s voice in your head rooting for you 

If you’re undertaking therapy and find yourself faced with a problem, hearing the voice of your therapist in your head is a sure sign that you are with the right therapist.

4. You don’t feel so overwhelmed by your emotions

Often when we struggle with our mental health it can take over our emotions, however through therapy we learn how to understand our emotions and why we experience them. If you’re in successful therapy you might find yourself better understanding your negative emotions and being able to move past them, as well as appreciating your positive emotions.

5. You feel more confident in yourself

Poor mental health can be detrimental towards our self-esteem and getting it back is often the biggest sign that therapy is working for you. As you work towards getting better you might find that you can see what is important to you again and feel much better about yourself.

6. Your physical health improves

Looking after our physical health when we are suffering with our mental health, often takes a back seat and another huge sign that your therapy is working for you, is taking care of your physical health again and well as feeling better as a whole. You might find yourself sleeping better, having less aches and pains and having stomach issues resolved, as well as having a healthier attitude towards your diet and exercise.

If you’re worried about your mental health alongside substance abuse and are looking to seek help – or you feel like your current therapy isn’t working for you, online therapy could be the tool to start your journey forward. My Online Therapy is the UK’s first online psychology platform offering you the same professional service – with highly qualified professionals – that you would expect from a traditional clinic for a more affordable cost from where works for you.