The Danger of a Victim Mentality

If you’re contemplating entering rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction, you’re making a brave decision. You’ve subdued many fears and mental obstacles just to get to the point of admitting you need help. To take things a step further and actually seek help is commendable.

As with any steps we take to improve ourselves, however, there are potential landmines waiting to sabotage our results. When it comes to recovery from addiction, the danger of a victim mentality cannot be understated. Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls of a victim mentality and prevent your progress from being derailed.

Realize Addiction Is a Disease and Not Your Destiny

If you see yourself as a victim of addiction, you give it power over you and resolve to have your destiny shaped by it. The truth is, addiction is a disease which can be treated, managed and overcome. You don’t have to be under the thumb of addiction forever.

Your human spirit is quite resilient, and you’re stronger than you know. This might be tough to see right now, but as you commit to the rehab process, you’ll be impressed by the strength that comes out of you. If you see yourself as a victim rather than a victor, you’ll overlook this strength and rob it of its ability to push you through to recovery.

Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal helps make you more aware of yourself, your thoughts and the motivations behind your actions. Journaling may also help you better identify victim mentality symptoms in your own life. Hindsight is often 20/20. Looking at your feelings in retrospect often helps you view yourself with more clarity than when you’re clouded by the fog of our current emotional state.

Rearrange Your Social Furniture

Are you an emotional hoarder? Do you keep people in your life longer than they need to be? Do you keep people in certain places in your life when they should be somewhere else?
Ridding yourself of a victim mentality can be as simple as distancing yourself from others in your life who think leaving addiction behind will somehow be harmful to you. You don’t necessarily need to throw these people away. Everyone is valuable and needs friends. However, you may need to redefine your relationship with these individuals so you can be blessings rather than burdens to one another.

Observe Other Addicts

Watch other people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. How is addiction affecting their lives? Can you see yourself in their shoes? Would you want to be there?
It’s often easier to look at others with a keener eye than you view yourself. Observing other addicts around you may help you come to terms with how addiction is affecting your own life.


Forgiveness can go a long way in getting rid of a victim mentality. One of the primary victim mentality symptoms is serial blaming. The serial blamer tends to blame others for their problems, especially those who have legitimately hurt them.

If you see yourself stuck in a pattern of blaming, start by forgiving those who have hurt you. This can be very tough, especially if you’ve been abused. However, harboring resentment toward these individuals hurts you more than them. They’re wrong for hurting you, but you deserve to be free from the residual effects of their actions.

Commit to a New Narrative

How will you be remembered? If you left the earth today, would you be comfortable with the story that would be told. It’s not too late to craft a new narrative and leave a good legacy behind. Start by returning to the journal mentioned earlier in this article. Use it to help you get rid of the negative thought patterns you see and replace them with new, positive patterns.

Give Thanks

Expressing thanks for what you have is one of the quickest ways to ditch a victim mentality. It takes some practice, and things may not change right away. However, simply changing the way you look at situations can alter your mentality. Gratitude makes you more aware of the good things that are happening to you while giving you strength to deal with the bad.

Get Professional Help

Seeking professional help from trained therapists, counselors and medical experts like those at 12 Keys can give you the well-rounded aid you need. We’ll contribute to your recovery and encourage you to gain a new perspective on life. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 access to caring professionals who listen with genuine empathy and help with well-trained compassion. Take the next step toward recovery and contact 12 Keys today!

The Addiction Blog