Skip to content

Will I Succeed in Rehab if I’m Anti-Social?

Will I Succeed in Rehab if I’m Anti-Social?

There are unique challenges that face individuals who see themselves as anti-social

If you consider yourself anti-social, there are unique challenges that you may face in the context of a stint in rehab. Knowing what these challenges are and making a plan to overcome them will greatly increase the likelihood of your success in moving forward into a sober life in Des Moines. That being said, it is important to note at the outset that no personality trait, mental health condition or personal preferences will make it impossible for you to walk the path of recovery with success.

The Unique Challenges Being Anti-Social Present in Recovery

When considering rehab, there are unique challenges that face individuals who see themselves as anti-social. Each of these reasons revolves around limitations or problems that may occur in group therapy. Research has shown multiple times the inherent value of group therapy for rehab and recovery settings. While not complete, the following list summarizes some of the core values that are supported in group therapy:

  • Reducing isolation
  • Witnessing the recovery of others
  • Can limit the length of depression
  • May reduce shame and guilt

Keeping in mind the context of group therapy, there are at least four unique challenges that an individual self-identifying as anti-social will face including the following:

  • Role-playing will appear to be less realistic – One key component of group therapy is the socialization of new skills. This primarily takes place through role-playing in which the different group members practice a new skill with one another in order to become more familiar and comfortable with it. While often uncomfortable for a beginner, the anti-social individual will perceive these role-playing activities to be completely unrealistic. In their minds, there is little to no value to the concepts around social role-playing as the anti-social person will try to avoid social situations entirely. As a result, the role-playing becomes far less realistic and loses a great deal of purpose.
  • Social learning is short-circuited – Accountability and encouragement is another important portion of the group therapy dynamic. Individuals are encouraged by the success of other group members, and are also able to brainstorm through failures in the context of a safe place. Taken together, these twin social learning concepts serve to provide motivation and eventually will build into a typical group member a stronger internal belief that recovery is possible. For the individual with anti-social leaning, this interdependency upon others in the group therapy sessions is uncomfortable at best and is often seen as a breach of privacy. For this reason, it is not uncommon for self-image problems to continue longer for an anti-social individual.
  • Group therapy sessions are awkward for all – Group therapy sessions are by definition and intent a social activity. The presence and obvious discomfort of an anti-social person is in a sense contagious. Others in the group may pick up on the unwillingness to share victories and struggles and could begin to mimic these behaviors. Therefore, group therapy sessions could be seen as less useful to the anti-social individual even though some portion of this limited usefulness is a direct result of their own impact on the group.
  • The power of accountability is muted – Accountability is an important part of the group therapy process as individuals share in the good and bad moments. This aspect of group therapy will likely be muted or even eliminated if a person is unwilling to share their life experiences.

Your Recovery Is About More Than Your Personality

Those in the midst of an addiction in Des Moines are often anxious to find a reason that rehab won’t work for them. Sometimes that reason is financial. Other times it is based in a poor self-image. Believing that your anti-social tendencies will make it impossible for you to successfully navigate recovery is at its core nothing more than an excuse.

Every day people from every walk of life, with every socioeconomic background and every personality, stay sober for one more moment. This is not because any of these individuals are better, stronger, more worthy or more qualified to keep on the recovery path. This is because, in their soul, they decided that staying addicted was not the life they wanted. They made a choice and continue daily to make that same choice that their life is worth more than an addiction. Then they do the hard work of making that decision a reality in their daily lives.

There is no reason that you cannot join these brave individuals in Des Moines starting today. You may not be able to do it alone; most cannot, and there is no shame in that. If you need help, there is support available. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admissions counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about your addiction. They can help you find your way.


[1], “Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy,” accessed January 24, 2016