Resilience is a hallmark of good mental health. It is particularly important for recovering addicts who have learned how to survive but in negative ways – for example, by dissociating from childhood trauma or using drugs and alcohol to escape emotional pain.

An essential part of recovery is learning new tools that build resilience, which guards against the return of old, automatic behaviors that so often leads to relapse.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is our ability to adapt to or bounce back from stress and adversity. Can you describe what you’re feeling, and can you respond to emotions in ways that alleviate your suffering without adding to it? People who score low on resilience typically do things that keep them stuck like dwelling on negative thoughts, avoiding other people, or using drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling or other substances or behaviors to escape.

People who are resilient, by contrast, have the coping skills to manage life’s ups and downs with flexibility and a positive outlook.

2 Comments to
From Rigid to Resilient: Bouncing Back From Stress In Recovery

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  1. Hello David Sack, M.D.:

    This was a very insightful post and I mentioned this post in my article: Characteristics of Highly Successful College Students (http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/07/11/characteristics-of-highly-successful-college-students/).

    This is applicable for college students as they need to develop resilience to be successful in their academic journey.
    Dr. J

  2. dear dr. sack,

    hooray! i loved this article. i really appreciated the focus on some of the root causes like trauma and lack of coping skills and their remedies.

    wonderfully uplifting, inclusive and actionable!

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