Break Free of the Wealthy Addict’s Shame

addict's shame |

Many people believe that if you’ve got money, you have little to zero problems. It’s easy to think that those with money have their lives in perfect order. It’s easy to see those with money as not having mental health concerns, including addiction. And, many wealth people come across that way.

They don’t reveal to the outer world the problems residing within. Because there can be a large difference between what’s going on inside and what a wealthy person feels they can reveal to the public, stigma and shame might easily be experiences a wealthy person struggling with addiction may have.

In many cases, those who are wealthy tend to already have stigma or shame around money.

It’s often a topic that goes unspoken among people. In the American culture and within families, money is frequently a subject that is discussed privately, behind closed doors. And even when it is discussed, regardless of how much money people have, discussions around money can come with feelings of shame, guilt, anger, and powerlessness.

Money is often just as taboo to discuss just as sexuality or mental illness. Add to that the struggle of fighting an addiction. There are certain feelings that can keep someone with money from getting treatment, asking for professional help, or inviting the support of a friend or family member. These may include shame, guilt, embarrassment, shyness, fear, intimidation, or resentment.

However, at some point, those feelings become secondary to the need to end an addiction because challenges of the illness grow so great. If you’re at this point, there are steps you can take to focus on getting sober versus allowing those feelings, including shame, to get in the way. Some of these steps include:

Recognize That You Need Treatment to Get Sober

  1. Often, a stigma or the shame you might feel may not get in the way until you’re faced with asking for help. If you’re trying to call a treatment center and you’re noticing difficulty doing it, you can shift your attention on getting sober and what it takes to do that.
  2. At the time of making a phone call for help, it’s likely you’ll have to admit that you’re struggling with an addiction. And once you’re in treatment, you’ll likely have to talk about the difficulties you’ve faced. Yet, despite these challenging moments (which are temporary), the important thing is that you recognize you need treatment and that you’re doing what you can to access it.

Connect with Others Who Once Struggled 

  1. When you’re at the beginning of your journey, the stigma and shame of addiction might feel the strongest. However, once you’re past that point and you’ve made connection with others, it’s possible your feelings may change. Forming relationships with others can be a significant part of recovery and sobriety.

Make a Plan for Your Recovery

  1. Remember that the journey of recovery is about you and not anyone else. If the stigma of addiction continues to get in the way, shift your focus on where you are now in your recovery and where you want to be. Having a long-term plan can help plant the seed in your mind that at some point in the future you’ll be sober and free of the struggles of addiction.

Community Events Aimed at Breaking the Stigma of Substance Use Addictions

  1. Frequently, there are community organizations holding events that help break down the stigmas of mental illness and substance abuse. Participating in these events can bring the company of those who have seen past the barrier of a stigma.

Lastly, there are addiction treatment programs that are catered to those with money. You might find one that is entirely exclusive, filled with luxuries, and ensures your utter confidentiality. For those who are wealthy, you can break free of the shame of addiction by focusing on what you need to do to get help.


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