Maladaptive behavior refers to types of behaviors that inhibit a person’s ability to adjust to particular situations. Sometimes, people who do not feel confident in meeting the challenges that come their way in life develop maladaptive behavior to reduce their anxiety.Unfortunately, this almost never works out well. Avoiding situations because of unrealistic fears may initially reduce anxiety, but this avoidance is just that: it does not solve the actual problems. Eventually, problems can become so big that the pain of avoiding them is overwhelming. They can no longer be ignored. A common type of maladaptive behavior is turning to alcohol or drugs for refuge instead of working to address a challenge. In the beginning, these substances create the impression for their abusers that they are escaping their problems, but this is only a temporary reprieve. They are actually making things much worse, and they risk falling into addiction. Some of these people may have an undiagnosed mental health condition such as depression or anxiety disorder, and this is referred to as self-medication.Whatever the underlying cause, as time passes the damage caused by the substance abuse outweighs any benefits that people exhibiting this maladaptive behavior may be getting. These people often do not recognize this. Sadly, by the time they escape their denial they will already be addicted to these substances.
When Maladaptive Behavior Catches Up with You
When addicts reach the bottom, climbing towards recovery can be a difficult task. Our dysfunctional behaviors can sometimes screw our lives up so badly it can be difficult to see where to begin. Sadly, this is what causes many addicts to start using again and continue the vicious cycle. All they are doing is stuffing their problems away from reality for the time being and making them worse. Start by doing the first right thing. Get control of your addiction. The other problems will take care of themselves, over time. It’s a slow process, but you have to begin somewhere. A new life awaits on the other side of your addiction. The first steps of the journey are the hardest.