Anyone experiencing addiction will be familiar with the feeling of going around in circles, that feeling of never being able to break the cycle, of continued ‘good’ periods followed by relapse.

This doesn’t just apply to those experiencing substance abuse problems – but can be applied to other mental health issues such as eating disorders.
The ‘cycle’ consists of 4 steps:

  1. Stimulus – the stress hits us
  2. Response – we respond in a way that supplies short-term relief. This may be drug or alcohol abuse, binging, purging etc.
  3. Consequence – the relief is short lived and the ‘consequence’ hits us. This can lead to anxiety, depression, shame, guilt etc.
  4. Repetition – we continue to ‘chase the high’ and crave the relief from these negative emotions. This leads to us repeating the response over and over again and continuing the addiction cycle.

Unfortunately, reviewing our behavioral level using the steps above isn’t enough to help break the cycle. Even if we are aware of our actions it is extremely difficult to break from a habit, especially once the response has become addictive or a coping mechanism for our life stresses. Treatment often offers a one-dimensional approach – the main focus is placed on stopping the response. But how can you stop the response if you aren’t listening to yourself and addressing how you are feeling at the moment that stimulus hits?

Within our Choices Retreats Program, we believe focusing on the response or ‘action’ is only part of the recovery journey: contemplation and preparation in terms of how you are feeling is just as important to sustain long-term change. Any cycle is difficult to break and it takes both motivation and persistence to achieve this.

We can help you:

  • With mental preparation – sometimes acknowledging the problem and realizing you need and want help can be one of the hardest steps. Within our Choices Retreats Program, we focus on ‘mindfulness’ helping to bring attention to the internal and external experiences happening in the present moment and encouraging you to listen to your bodies needs.
  • Accepting your journey – it takes work and there will be successes and failures along the way. We believe in both positive practice and consistency. Our intensive program focuses on breaking free from vicious cycles and patterns by applying learned, evidence-based concepts and coping strategies consistently.
  • Facing your demons – it can be daunting confronting the issues that originally caused the addiction cycle. We recognize that every person’s mental health struggles are unique and believe in personalizing our treatment to guide you through recovery in a way that works for you.
  • Provide a new productive environment – removing yourself from a stressful, triggering environment and away from people contributing to negativity is a key part of recovery. We are proud that our clinical retreats provide the tools you need to find inner peace and are always conducive to healing and recovery. Prioritizing your health is a key part of this and is why daily yoga, spa treatments and mindfulness are essential components in our customized recovery program.

To find out more about how we can help you break the cycle and form positive habits, visit our website here: 

Alternatively, arrange a chat with Dr. Jeremy now to discuss your own personalized recovery journey:

1 Comment

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