Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity

I once heard that an addict or alcoholic is stuck at the age that he or she began drinking and using drugs. So if you started drinking at 15, when you stop drinking you will have the emotional maturity of a 15-year old. I don’t know if this is an exact science, everyone is different, but there does seem to be some truth behind it. When an addict or alcoholic drinks and uses drugs, they are usually doing it to avoid dealing with life. It becomes the answer to all life’s problems: a way to numb themselves and ignore what is going on in their life. As a result, they don’t grow emotionally, and therefore don’t mature.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: Symptoms of Emotional Immaturity

– Find it hard to deal with the normal challenges of life and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

– Tend to suffer from more stress and develop stress-related health problems like high blood pressure.

– Struggle to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with other people. They can appear needy, overbearing, or distant and disconnected.

– May have low-self-esteem.

– Find it almost impossible to live in the present moment. Are either reliving the past or worrying about the future.

– Easily lose their temper at the slightest provocation

– Have unrealistically high expectations. Because of this, they are frequently disappointed.

– Can suffer from severe mood swings.

– Find it hard to control their own behavior.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Emotion

Drugs make you feel good. That’s why most people take them. They induce a feeling of happiness, or euphoria. An addict or alcoholic uses drugs and alcohol to make them feel happy in a negative situation. It alters the negative cognitive state. Because of this, addicts and alcoholics never learn to deal with negative situations in any other way. They don’t learn healthy coping methods.

Also, drugs and alcohol numb a person to negative feelings. They may have difficult even recognizing their emotions, especially in early sobriety.

Addiction and Emotional Immaturity: The Dangers

Emotional immaturity can be a barrier to successful recovery. When people are emotionally immature, they are far more likely to relapse. This is because they do not have the tools they need to deal with problems. This type of person can be easily knocked off course by any challenge.

Also, an addict who is emotionally immature will not be able to form healthy relationships with other people. Without a strong support system, they will be much more likely to go back to using and drinking.

Addiction and emotional maturity are closely related, as is recovery and emotional maturity. To be truly successful in sobriety, a person must also develop “emotional sobriety.” This develops with experience and practicing new ways to react to situations and experiences. A person with emotional sobriety must let go of all addictions-including addictive behavior like unhealthy sexual compulsions and gambling, and face life on life’s terms. Developing emotional sobriety also means taking responsibility for one’s life and practicing spiritual principles in every aspect of their life.


If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.