Emotional Nutrition – Our Innate Needs.

Emotional Nutrition – Our Innate Needs.

Out of the blue, after 20 years in the same job, there is a change in management and Jeff starts to feel anxious about going into work. There have been some recent changes and a few redundancies. He no longer feels secure in his job, and he is finding it difficult to keep up with the changes.

Susie has agreed for the in-laws to move in while they await the completion of their new bungalow down the road. It was fine for the first few weeks, but now she is starting to feel hemmed in, both physically and emotionally.  She feels she has lost control of her space and her privacy.

A mother of 3 children suddenly feels lost when her last child leaves home. Her sense of purpose has gone. She doesn’t know how to fill her time, or fill that need to give and support. She no longer feels needed.

Ashley’s best friend who lived round the corner, has moved to the States with her husband who has a new job. They were very close friends, and would meet weekly over coffee. They had both supported each other during challenging periods over the last few years. Now Ashley feels lost. She has no one to turn to when she needs to talk things through.

Innate Needs.

All the above are examples of one of our innate needs not being met. There are 9 innate needs. They are needs that nourish us emotionally, just as good nutrition nourishes us physically.  If one of them is not met, we will feel the impact, to a lesser or greater degree depending on how well all our other needs are being met. Usually, over time, we adjust to the change in circumstances, get it met by something new or change our circumstance. So, Ashley, may take action and start socialising more so that she can meet new people and make new friends. With the in-laws moving in, it may require a change in behaviour to obtain that privacy, such as going out daily for a walk or setting boundaries.

If, however, too many of the innate needs are not being met, life can start to feel very challenging, and this will affect us emotionally and psychologically.

Privacy doesn’t seem like an important need. If, from the moment we get up to the time we go to bed is full on, running round after the kids or family and going to work, we start to feel exhausted, not just from the physical and mental side of things, but also emotionally.  We need time to process our emotions and think about the things that have gone on through the day and plan the next day or our future. Otherwise, we start to feel like a hamster on its wheel. Just having 30 mins a day to reflect on life, by going for a walk or having coffee quietly is therapeutic. But, on the other hand, if we spend too much time on our own we become isolated. Social contact is important. We need emotional connection in the form of friendships and intimacy. The elderly are particularly vulnerable and loneliness is a killer.

Security and a sense of control are very closely linked. The former can be lost in an instant, such as being involved in an accident or suffering a heart attack. Or it can come on gradually when we realise that a new colleague is a bully, or our local pub has just changed hands and is attracting unsavoury clientele.  But also we may feel we have lost control if we develop a chronic illness or noisy neighbours move in and we are not getting any sleep. Living in constant fear causes anxiety and prevents us growing as a person. Some friendships make us feel safer and more secure than others, those are relationships where we feel we are not judged and we can be ourselves. Having responsibility, say at work or in a marriage gives us feel in control. Being told what to do all the time has the opposite effect.

Learning a new activity, passing exams, feeling competent at something, all give us a sense of achievement and make us feel good about ourselves, building our self-esteem. This can be physically or intellectually.  For the mother, providing a good home which she is proud of will give her a sense of achievement. If work is unsatisfying, then finding something outside of work to excel at, perhaps being captain of the local cricket club, and being the top scorer each season is necessary. But we also need to do things that stretch ourselves physically, mentally or creatively. This gives meaning to our lives, otherwise life seems pointless.

We are also social creatures, and we would never have developed as a species if we had not been so. We thrive on being part of a larger community, such as the church, a political group, a voluntary organisation, or being at university. It makes us healthier physically and emotionally by being part of a larger network.  We feel supported, and we feel connected by having similar values or interests within the group.

Then there is giving attention and receiving attention which is like a bank account. We need to have the right balance of the two. If we give too much, such as being in a caring profession, or a mother of a large family, we start to feel drained. Being acknowledged and appreciated at work is receiving attention, but being criticized or bullied is also a form of attention. It is the positive attention which is what we thrive on. But those of us lacking attention, negative attention is better than none. We may even go out of our way to get attention, and this can make us vulnerable to manipulation. However, too much attention whether good or bad, stifles us.

Lastly, we need to feel recognised and valued as an individual. We need to feel that what we do is worthwhile and is for the good of others and that others recognise this and respect us. This is termed status.  It is not about what we do but about how others respond to what we do. A cleaner can have this need met just as easily as the boss of a large company, if others approach her for help or appreciate what she is doing.

In summary, we have a variety of needs which nourish us emotionally. If one is not fully met, then we can cope. But if several are severely lacking or many of them could be met better, we start to feel emotionally deprived. Life then becomes a rocky ride…..

Nick Conn / 5th October 2018/ Posted in: Expert Talk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.

    Our promise to you

    thumbOur advice will always be led by your needs and is free, confidential and impartial.
    thumbOur experienced professionals will treat you with compassion and understanding.
    thumbOur purpose is to provide you with all the information needed to make informed decisions.

    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.