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How Will I Know When I Hit Rock Bottom?

Most people think of hard times when someone says they have hit rock bottom. However, addiction can be the most challenging time of anyone’s life. In treatment terms, the addict has a moment of clarity when the realization happens that the consequences of the addiction outweigh the benefits. In these moments, the person with a substance use disorder ends their denial, stops blaming everyone, and asks for help.

The term “rock bottom” is a term that Alcoholics Anonymous coined as the necessary motivation to seek help for addiction. Much like the stigma that surrounds mental health, at one time, physicians believed addiction was a moral failure instead of a disease. Currently, it is understood that thinking you must hit rock bottom before starting treatment is a myth.

What is Rock Bottom?

A place of heartache, pain, and desperation for those who hit rock bottom in addiction and have reached their breaking point; it can’t get worse. In many situations, rock bottom is reached after a significant event. Whether it is a DUI, losing a job, or losing everything tangible in their world, they must get help. Often rock bottom is the turning point for detox and treatment to begin.

With most people experiencing a substance use disorder, there are warning signs that rock bottom is about to occur. Educated treatment professionals can assess or evaluate the status of the addiction by observing what type of warning signs are present. Unfortunately, those who hit rock bottom have had their share of tough times. Therefore, it is essential to understand that not all people who are addicted will reach rock bottom.

The Warning Signs Before Rock Bottom

If your loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, you may recognize the following warning signs. Drugs and alcohol can devastate every aspect of a person. However, understanding and recognizing these warning signs do not ensure that your loved one will hit rock bottom. Instead, understanding the standard thinking and behaviors of those with substance abuse disorders can help you support your loved one.

  • Hygiene fails when you hit rock bottom. One of addiction’s initial signs or symptoms can be depression. When depressed, it takes too much effort to take care of yourself. No shower, brushing your hair and teeth, and getting out of bed can be impossible. When you hit rock bottom, it is a dark place.
  • Physical illness. When self-care fails, those with a severe substance use disorder experience more extreme physical symptoms. When they hit rock bottom, your mind, and body are broken. General overwhelming feelings of being unwell are triggers for desperation.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness prevail. Those close to hitting rock bottom feel trapped. When you hit rock bottom and are overwhelmed with suicidal thoughts, it is time to seek help. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Alienating the inner circle. When you are in a dark place, you push people away. Then, just before they hit rock bottom, there is a loss of control. Emotions may be high, and dealing with people is impossible so the addict will isolate themselves. In extreme cases, anxiety and panic are extraordinarily high, and some develop agoraphobia.
  • Wild mood swings. Right before addicts hit rock bottom, it’s common for their emotional health to be exhausted. Feeling grumpy, irritable, temperamental, and so restless, no relief exists; the user is on edge. People will want to stay away and steer clear of the negativity. Lashing out at those trying to help is not uncommon.

What Happens When You Hit Rock Bottom?

Not every person will hit rock bottom. Likewise, successful sobriety is not dependent upon hitting rock bottom. However, many treatment professionals can connect with the substance abuse user during this turning point. Then, finally, there comes a moment of clarity when the user can accept help.

Feelings of failure are typical for those experiencing a substance use disorder, especially during the rock bottom moments. However, when you hit rock bottom, you can understand the effects of addiction on yourself and everyone around you. Rock bottom represents the worst moments of addiction, and looking back brings a sense of accomplishment for those who undertake treatment. With the help of therapy, the substance user will understand they are not a failure.

Difficulties Found at Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is challenging and painful. Detox is complex and carries discomfort. Those who hit rock bottom and accept help have a mountain to climb. Facing friends and family who have painfully stood by is difficult. However, the initial stages of treatment and becoming sober can be successful with the help of the treatment team and support system.

Medically monitored detox is advisable for long-term addiction. Then, the individual, group, and family therapies can all work together to form a successful treatment plan for a sober future. Most people who have completed treatment do not like to think back to when they hit rock bottom. It is best to look forward, not backward, and live a happy and healthy lifestyle free from addiction.

Find Help When Someone You Love Has Hit Rock Bottom in Tennessee

If you or a loved one is experiencing rock bottom in their addiction, now is the time to reach out to one of our treatment professionals. Freeman Recovery Center understands that the essential moments of rock bottom could be a prime opportunity to accept treatment help. We can schedule an assessment and begin the journey to sobriety quickly. Contact us to speak with our understanding staff now to find help.

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