Relapse Triggers : Internal vs External

It is easier to avoid a particular person or situation than to avoid feeling angry, sad, or depressed. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid experiencing an emotion, change how you feel, or stop yourself from remembering a certain memory. A trigger diary can also help uncover underlying causes of use or cravings, including underlying internal and external triggers emotions and environmental events that may lead to substance abuse. Furthermore, a trigger diary can allow people in recovery to recognize patterns in their behaviors and develop more effective coping strategies for future situations. Identifying your emotional triggers can be a crucial step in the addiction recovery process.

The broadest category of triggers, external triggers come from the world around us. External triggers can be the most difficult to overcome, but thankfully they’re also usually the easiest to identify and avoid. Treating these co-occurring disorders alongside your addiction will increase your ability to maintain long-term sobriety. In this stage, you are battling yourself, constantly fighting an inner war between not using and using.

What Are Relapse Triggers: Internal Vs External Relapse Triggers

Bottling up emotions is usually a sign that your worried people will see through your happy and carefree exterior. Keeping up with this persona will lead to stress and anxiety, which could eventually lead to abusing again. Unhealthy diets will derail recovery by causing sleep problems, headaches, and low energy.

  • It’s important to learn to recognize any negative thoughts that may come up during this process as they can have an even greater impact on your emotions.
  • Behavioral triggers are activities and habits that can lead to relapse in recovery.
  • The key is writing daily weather only about your day or even gratitude quotes you can focus on.
  • It’s understandable to be concerned about relapse after completing a substance abuse treatment program.
  • Psychological addiction triggers can be avoided by taking proactive steps to address the underlying issues causing them.

This can have severe consequences and a detrimental effect on an individual’s recovery progress. Awareness of the warning signs of potential physical relapse can help mitigate its impact. The mental relapse stage of addiction relapse is characterized by a return to specific thought patterns that can lead to a relapse. This includes thinking about using drugs or alcohol, fantasizing about the euphoric effects of an intoxicant, and planning how and when it could be used without getting caught.

Techniques for identifying Internal Triggers

During treatment, relapse prevention programs may be incorporated as part of the overall treatment plan. This can include education on triggers, coping mechanisms, and developing a plan for maintaining sobriety. By developing a toolkit of healthy coping mechanisms, individuals can better navigate the challenges of recovery and build a more fulfilling life in sobriety. Additionally, feeling connected and supported gives individuals access to resources such as treatment programs or support group activities that can help them avoid addictive behaviors. For those living in remote areas, numerous online recovery communities are available for individuals to access the necessary social support they need.

internal and external triggers

Like Pavlov’s dogs, which learned to salivate when they heard a bell ringing, people with addiction learn to crave drugs as a response to certain situations. Do what you need to do to minimize external triggers in your life. Become skillful through practice at managing the triggers you cannot avoid.

External Trigger vs. Internal Trigger: Why We Act

The triggers can be broken down into several categories, including environmental, emotional, behavioral, and psychological. By knowing what common addiction triggers exist, you can better manage them and take steps to avoid relapse. Unlike internal triggers, you do have a little more control over external triggers. Meaning, you can purposefully avoid certain places, cut off relationships with certain people, and take other intentional actions to limit your exposure to triggers. Managing internal triggers requires introspection and mindful behavior, which is why therapy and addiction treatment is so helpful.

  • Some people have to move and start a new life elsewhere to avoid the many triggers in their lives.
  • Internal triggers can be more difficult to manage than external triggers as you cannot physically separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions.
  • Let’s talk about triggers and explain why identifying them is vital to the recovery process.
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    New Method Wellness is not affiliated with, employed by, or in contract with any treatment centers or providers.

Your sponsor or mentor, sober friends, and supportive family members are available to help you along. Engaging in physical activity such as jogging or going for a walk can be beneficial for releasing tension and clearing the mind. For those who prefer more creative outlets, it may be helpful to take art or music therapy to express emotions without relying on substances. Keeping a trigger diary is an effective way for individuals to identify and anticipate triggers in their daily lives. When someone records detailed information on what, who, when, and where was the motivation before their use or craving, they can gain insight into how to reduce temptation or take preventive action.

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