Depression and addiction often overlap in profound ways. One of the significant root causes of addiction is mental health issues. Often, people who struggle with addiction develop mental health issues at higher rates than the general population. Depression in addiction recovery is widespread. Sometimes it stems from the presence of a dual diagnosis, and sometimes it is because depression is a common withdrawal symptom for many different substances. No matter its origin, managing depression in recovery is vital to avoiding relapse and achieving long-term recovery.
The Presence of Depression in Addiction Recovery
As mentioned in the intro, depression symptoms in recovery can stem from various sources. One of the most common is during detox, as depression is a common withdrawal symptom. When someone stops using a substance, mental health issues can be unmasked. This is because substance abuse commonly starts as a form of self-medication.
One example here is the case of depression and alcohol abuse. If someone with depression tries to alleviate their symptoms by drinking, it’s natural that their depression will be fully displayed if they stop drinking. That is not to say they should continue drinking. Of course not, since that will only add a substance abuse issue to their mental health struggles. Instead, the best course of action is dual diagnosis treatment.
Yet the question remains: how can depression in addiction recovery be properly managed? Managing depression in recovery may be the difference between achieving sobriety or relapsing. One of the best ways of managing depression in recovery is by relying on a support network. A support network could include friends, family members, peers in recovery, and clinicians. This network can be there for you when you need a shoulder to lean on, need someone to talk to, or need someone to hold you accountable for sticking to your recovery plan.
Managing Depression Symptoms in Recovery
The presence and strength of your support network are crucial methods for managing depression in recovery. But that is far from the only way to deal with challenging mental health days. Here are four more ways that you can tackle depression in addiction recovery.
1. Consider Medical Treatment
When you attend formal treatment for an addiction, you will also have access to mental health treatment services. Therapy will naturally support improved mental health alongside substance abuse recovery. Depending on the severity of your depression, you may also benefit from taking an antidepressant. These medications are safe and effective at reducing depression symptoms.
2. Implement Positive Habits
Your lifestyle habits can significantly impact how your depression symptoms manifest. Positive practices like regular exercise, healthy meals, and routinized self-care will help recovery efforts and reduce depression symptoms.
3. Manage Stress
Managing stress effectively is vital to overcoming substance abuse. It is also essential for dealing with depression. Implementing stress management techniques is a great way to support better mental health. Some common stress management techniques include:
- Breathing exercises
4. Pursue a New Hobby
Depression can rob life of its meaning or make things you used to enjoy not feel worth the time or effort. One way to combat this is to pursue a new hobby or do a new activity. This can easily be combined with other ways to manage depression, like managing stress or implementing a positive habit. For instance, you could start walking regularly or join a sports club at the local YMCA.
Overcome Depression and Substance Abuse With Evoke
Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to support you in overcoming depression and substance abuse. You may be unable to avoid depression at specific parts of the recovery journey, but it does not need to derail your healing. Contact 866.931.6429 to learn more about how Evoke can help you manage depression in recovery.