Isolating: The Signs and Symptoms

Isolating: The Signs and Symptoms

Isolation is a word that we hear a lot in recovery circles. We’re told to avoid it, as isolation is one of the enemies of sobriety and true recovery. What does it mean to isolate and what are some signs or symptoms to look out for if you’re worried you or someone you love might be isolating?

Isolation 101

Isolation, simply put, is when you find yourself separating either mentally, physically, or emotionally from others. In recovery, it can specifically refer to keeping yourself separate or detached from the recovery mentality or group. When we isolate, we cause ourselves to be apart from others and we start to convince ourselves that we don’t need recovery and that we’re okay on our own. One of the main pillars of recovery is finding connection with others and leaning on them for support. We truly need other people. When you’re isolating, your mind tells you that you don’t need the support of the group. This is dangerous territory.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that you or someone you love might be isolating include anger or resentment, ignoring signs such as negative thought patterns or behavior, feelings of loneliness or boredom, keeping secrets, returning to your pre-recovery ideas of yourself, cravings for drugs or alcohol, and feeling overwhelmed. These symptoms are often painful and alienating. If you’re feeling any of these, it’s time to reach out.

Finding Connection

Connection with others in the recovery community is the cure for isolation. In fact, a connection is one of the things that help us find true and lasting peace and happiness. Even though it seems easier to isolate at times, it ultimately causes much more harm than good. Don’t be afraid to surrender, connect to the group or your therapist, and let someone know you’re feeling isolated.  You are not alone.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at  (855) 202-2138

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