Omran is a youthful, recovering addict. When he was 24, he stopped taking drugs. He wasextremely excitedfor the possible outcomes that lay in front of him in hissobriety. After his initial treatment he started rebuilding his life around retrieval. He was willing to compensate for the time that he had spentinaddiction. He engaged himself in different activities like job, studies and regress body exercises.
Before long he started to notice that he was experiencing difficulty in his routine. He discovered himself muddled about things. He was experiencing difficulty dealing with his money related obligations, and when others try to help, he felt panicky and overwhelmed.
Out of apprehension that he would drink, omran"ran". Rather than assessing what things throughout his life he expected to change and what he expected to grasp, he surrendered everything. He quit his job, dropped his studies out, and stop going to gym. He surrendered his condo and moved in with a relative until he could "get himself together." These activities made furtherproblems which he found hard to cope. Until he went to his counselor and learned the management skills to handle his problems. Omran thought he was having a mental collapse, when actually he was facing‘Post-Acute Withdrawals’ (PAW).
What is post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)?
It refers to those symptoms that occur after acute withdrawals. Basically post – acute withdrawals is a group of symptoms that happen after acute withdrawal.
Many people think only about the drug based symptoms and they neglect the recovery based symptoms. These symptoms can make sobriety so difficult.Post-acute withdrawals are a Bio-Psycho-Social syndrome.PAW fallouts from the amalgamation of damage to the brain caused by drugs and the psychosocial stress of coping with life without drugs or alcohol. Current research shows that the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal linked with drug-related harm to the brain may contribute to relapse.
Stress and PAWS
Stress plays a hazardous role in recovery. Even recovery also causes stress. Mostly it is difficult for chemically dependent person to manage stress without alcohol and drug use. Stressdeteriorates the brain functioning and makes the symptoms severe.The brain dysfunction caused by the addiction and the amount of stress experienced in recovery can increases the PAWS severity.
After abstinence begins, symptoms of PAW typically reach to intensity in three to six months. The damage is usually reversible, so there is no need to fright. If proper treatment is received, Symptoms of PAW go away in time. There is a need of proper treatment to learn the normal living in spite of the impairments. But the change does not occur quickly. Recovery of brain damage usually required from six to 24 months with the assistance of a healthy life style recovery program.
Symptoms of PAWS
The significant characteristic of PAWS is the inability to solve simple problems. Inability to solve problems influences the self-esteem. A person frequently feels incompetent, discomfited, and “not okay” about himself. Unhealthy self-esteem and the fear of failure affectthe productive living. The following major types of PAW symptoms that contribute to this. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Inability to manage Stress
- Memory issues
- Emotional instability
- Sleep disturbances
- Thinking and Reasoning problems
- Motor problem
- Feeling dizzy
Effective Dealing with PAWS
Recognize the PAW symptoms and make a plan to deal with them. The key to deal with PAWS effectively is to understand the nature of addiction disease and the treatment strategies. Here is a list of ideas that may help.
- Identify your Support System. It can be family, friends and counselors. Anyone that supports your desire to stay clean and sober.
- Maintain your support system. Always take help from them.
- Learn Emotional Stability.Identify emotional states that trigger your desire to use: anger, boredom, sadness, loneliness. Get proper support when they arise. Take help from your counselor for emotional stability.
- Routine is necessary to achieve recovery goal. Make a daily routine that allows time to rest and relax.
- Maintain Proper Sleep. Sleep disturbance is a warning sign of relapse in recovery. Try to have a routine sleep pattern.
- Balanced Diet is a basic component of mental health betterment. Eat throughout the day. Reduced junk or processed foods and eat more healthy foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole unprocessed foods. Avoid refine foods. Decrease caffeine and sugar intake. It could be make a substitution of drugs.
- Walk &Exercise can help to reduce stress and increase your energy. Walk and exercise produce such hormones which help to manage the stress quite resiliently.
- Understand your self is very important in recovery. Treat yourself with patience and understanding.Be good to yourself.
- Take time to take care of your Spiritual Self and do things that bring you comfort. Be connected with your “High Power”.
- Recovery takes time. Give yourself time to heal. You won’t feel better right away.
To deal with post-acute withdrawal effectively, apart from above mentioned ideas, add some standards or values in recovery goal. By the definition, Values are the principles or directions. They help activate you to break out the recovery restricting patterns which are caused by anxiety, shame and withdrawals that fuel the depression.
The following standards or values help to manage the PAWS and keep the person on recovery track:
- Compliance: Gracefully accept the treatment protocols.
- Honesty: Be genuine in recovery.
- Self-Care and Health: Be Conscious about mental and physical health.
- Sharing: Share true feelings with your help providers.
When you are on the recovery track, painful emotions (shame, anger, guilt, regret, boredom and disappointment) often pop up in front of you like fiends, and you can’t get them and run over them.Thosefiends don’t go away throughout the recovery. To deal with those painful emotions (fiends) don’t wait for them to go away, take them along with you on recovery track. Values or principles will deal with them gradually.