In a rehabilitation context, independence is the ability to perform and self direct all the skills, routines, and activity patterns that make up a person’s life. If you think about it, independence is exactly what dependent and addicted individuals have lost. Addicted individuals often feel as if they have no control over themselves and their surroundings. They may feel weak, or trapped, or unable to create change from within. This can lead to negative thoughts and behaviors. Those suffering with dependence and/or addiction may feel that their body, mind, or BOTH are working against them; betraying their best intentions. Whatever the individual’s unique circumstances may be, addiction and dependency have stolen their ability to self-direct and do the things they need to do to live their lives happily and healthily. Their independence is gone.
Others who have lost their independence may feel little to nothing at all. Some addicted or dependent individuals may seem apathetic and uninterested in the world around them. It is as if they have completely given up on themselves, relationships, work tasks and other responsibilities. Whether the addiction or dependency issue has altered their brain chemistry chemically, or altered them psychologically (or both), the result is the same. Their independence is gone.
The key is not only in understanding and accepting that independence is lost, but in doing what is necessary to get it back.
At My Addiction Physician we have come to understand over time that every addicted or dependent individual’s needs and circumstances are different. There is no ‘one size fits all’ addiction treatment program that has an equal hope of succeeding with all individuals. Everyone is unique. However, if ANY rehabilitation program for an addicted individual — no matter how they are unique — is going to succeed, then the patient must focus on independence as the outcome measure.
An addiction rehabilitation program really can help you achieve independence again, but it is clearly very important to choose a treatment approach specific to your unique needs. Therefore, the first thing we do at My Addiction Physician is create a customized addiction treatment and rehabilitation program unique to your needs; one that introduces 5 key Ingredients for Success that help you successfully reclaim your self-direction and ability to perform in life.
In restoring independence there are a handful of things — let’s call them ingredients for success — which include: physical strength; positive mindset; spirituality/faith; people, places, and things; and medication (depending on the addiction). We help you to incorporate these ingredients and show you how they can work for you — and the benefits of doing so cannot be overstated! Successfully integrating all of these factors has a critical impact on an addicted or dependent individual’s ability to do two important things: self-direct and perform. Once you can self-direct AND perform, you will have regained your independence.
Self-direction is a complex set made up of executive, cognitive, linguistic, & emotional faculties of brain. These brain faculties are served in a constructive way when you are free from toxins, critically thinking and speaking about your needs and goals, and emotionally connected to people, places, things. Medications can add additional support by allowing the brain to process information better (for example, reducing or removing the physical symptoms of pain and withdrawal can assist the addicted or dependent individual to self-direct more effectively).
Physical strength is also an important ingredient in addiction recovery because it translates into performance. In other words, the stronger you are the better you do as long as you do not hurt yourself along the way! And it turns out that the stronger you are physically, the stronger you are mentally. There is an undeniable positive transfer of training from a physical process into a psychological benefit. This happens when you reach progressive physiologic overload, and it is subsequently why strength training is a part of virtually all of our addiction treatment programs here at My Addiction Physician.
Now let’s revisit the definition of independence, but as simply as possible:
SELF-DIRECTION + PERFORMANCE = INDEPENDENCE
If all the skills, routines, and activity patterns that makes up a person’s life are approached in a manner that emphasizes self-direction with sound decision-making and a performance-based mentality, you will embody independence. You’ll have control, and you’ll have your life back. My Addiction Physician can show you how!
The ingredients of success we’ve mentioned on this page are foundation principles within the My Addiction Physician addiction treatment programs we create for unique individuals. Learn more by visiting the Ingredients for Success Page.