Many people in recovery, especially from highly addictive drugs, find themselves feeling depressed from time to time. Getting clean doesn’t make life perfect, and as you adjust to life without the use of substances, you may discover new emotions pop up.
One reason that you might feel down when you’re first getting clean and sober, your body is still adjusting. Addiction changes the brain and creates chemical imbalances. These types of damage will heal over time. In the meantime, you’re left to cope with mood swings and sometimes headaches or other symptoms. Long-term recovery means healing your body, mind and spirit. For most, this means learning about self-care, learning to live by spiritual principles, and doing your best to be the person you want to be.
Coping with Depression
If you’re feeling blue, remember that this too shall pass. Here are a few great ways to kick those blue feelings to the curb:
- Take a walk every day. Regular exercise helps get your blood pumping and fills your brain with feel-good endorphins, the chemicals that help regulate your mood. Many people find that regular exercise helps curb stress as well as depressive symptoms. Science also shows that people who exercise regularly are more likely to have normal blood pressure and are less likely to acquire diabetes.
- Do something you truly enjoy. Often people just don’t take time for themselves when they first enter recovery. It’s okay, however, to take some time to do things you enjoy. Play with your dog, read a good book, or binge watch Netflix for a few hours every week.
- Practice self-care. Take the time to be good to yourself. Enjoy a long bath, do some yoga, or spend time in mindfulness meditations at least once a day. Self-care tasks are a great way to reward yourself and help yourself keep going on tough days.
- Share your feelings with others. If you’ve been feeling blue or depressed, let people in your recovery group and support system know what’s going on. They will probably have some experience to share with you.
Feeling down or blue is normal, but if you find yourself feeling depressed for weeks, or you feel like hurting yourself or others, it’s time to get help. Deppression is a real disease and many people discover they were self-medicating when they were drinking or using drugs. A qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can help diagnose clinical depression and help you make a plan for treating it.
Get Help for Addiction
Substance abuse disorder is a disease that needs treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, get help. There’s no better time to reclaim your life. Call us at 1-619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help you transform your life.