Published On: July 28, 20204.1 min read827 wordsCategories: Recovery
Leaving behind drugs or alcohol is a big shift. It can feel similar to a breakup in some ways. Substance use was the thing you always relied on to get through tough times. It may have offered a temporary outlet to unwind, have fun or alleviate boredom. It wasn’t a positive, healthy relationship, but leaving behind substance use means a large part of your life will no longer be there.
Due to the ways drugs and alcohol change your brain’s reward circuitry, causing you to focus on only the positive aspects of a high and forget the messy aftermath, leaving substances behind can leave you with a mix of emotions. You may miss the social euphoria you felt when you were in with a group, or you may feel disappointed feeling like you’ll never be able to relax like you used to.
While recovery is surely worth the effort you put in, depression after detox isn’t abnormal. When you’re waiting for the perks of sobriety to set in, it’s normal to feel hopeless or lost. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to overcome detox depression, and it starts today.
Depression and addiction recovery
During rehab, it’s not abnormal to experience a host of emotions. Depression is a common feeling after a significant life change, especially one as drastic as the transition from addiction to early recovery. Depression can have an onset in recovery, but it’s often the case that depression was actually there all along, just covered up by drug use.
One of the most commonly cited reasons that people use drugs is that it’s an effort to self-medicate for emotional pain. When you think back to the origin of your substance use, it may have been linked to depression. Although drinking and using drugs can feel like a temporary fix for sadness, loneliness and worthlessness, in the long run, substance use only worsens mental illness.
The first days, weeks and months of sobriety are laden with emotional, physical and mental challenges. It’s no wonder depression in early recovery is so common. One of the most significant changes during this time is your changing brain chemistry. A system that was accustomed to the presence of substances has to quickly readjust and expel toxins. This process takes a toll on your brain, and the disruption to the flow of pain and pleasure chemicals can surely have a big impact.
Here are some of the symptoms you might notice when you have depression in early recovery.
Feelings of sadness and hopelessness that go beyond having a bad day
Having negative thoughts about yourself, your life, and the future
Not wanting to get out of bed to face the day
Feeling tired all the time
Not wanting to eat, or overeating
Feeling that life lacks meaning
Having an inability to concentrate
Having suicidal thoughts
If you’ve experienced these symptoms, detox depression could be the culprit.
Treatment for depression after detox
Depression and addiction recovery are a bad mix. Feelings of worthlessness, self-isolation and having no hope for the future are a recipe for relapse. For this reason, treating both substance use disorders and mental health disorders simultaneously is key to long-term and sustainable recovery.
If these symptoms are present and last longer than a few days, depression could be the culprit. It’s common to experience depression during early sobriety. If someone doesn’t feel hopeful about their progress in recovery, it can lead to a relapse.
Someone who has worked to get clean physically and to begin the real process of recovery after their treatment program has ended should feel hopeful about the future. If someone doesn’t care about anything because of depression, then they may not see a reason to continue to stay sober. The feelings associated with depression could become so unbearable that they turn to drugs or alcohol again to cope, leading them back into the cycle of addiction.
If you’ve noticed signs of detox depression in yourself, it’s time to work towards whole-person healing. Until you address both mental health concerns and addiction, you’ll never find true freedom. If one goes untreated, the symptoms will affect your progress in the other area. Coordinated and holistic treatment can make all the difference.
Depression and addiction recovery
If you’ve been affected by depression after detox, there’s no reason to wait for treatment. You deserve to feel like yourself again, and at Freedom Detox you can find the compassionate care you’ve been looking for. Get back your health, your personality, your future and your freedom. Call Freedom Detox today.
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