Coming to terms with a problem that a person faces with mental health can be a huge burden lifted. Depression is stigmatized along with addiction and, when the two are partnered up, it can be a double whammy. Even on a good day, a person with depression may find it hard to deal with life and get up for work or cope well. It is difficult to function with even high-functioning depressive thoughts and behaviors. There are some ways to face depression head-on and still feel victorious in recovery from addiction.
The Long Game
When a person is depressed, they are not likely to experience a temporary mood swing. What people forget is that depression lasts a long time. In some cases, a lifetime. It may come and go in stages but it likely never completely goes away for some people. Those with addiction may have struggled with depression before it happened or as a result of addictive behaviors. The careful management of depression can make it easier to deal with but professional help may not help them cope totally with something that is essentially part of the long-range game plan for their lives.
Chemical imbalances in the brain can help ease the stress on a person’s life but it may help uncover issues like depression and keep them at the forefront of recovery. Root causes of depression vary but it may be that the person has trouble controlling thoughts or feelings that veer into the negative. A ‘bad mood’ does not just pass naturally but keeps going even when they don’t want it to. The brain is tricky with addiction as it changes and shifts. It is hard for a person in recovery to navigate the changes and feel mentally stable without outside help from therapists and medication.
Roots of Depression
Anger is often an underlying symptom of depression. Their sad feelings are deep-rooted anger and they may be difficult to deal with. If a person is lashing out, being angry, driving others away, and seeking revenge for wrongs or slights, they may be more angry than depressed. That anger is then turned inward and manifests as depression. Part of recovery, in this case, is to cope with anger in a healthier way. This means dealing with the release of it without causing conflict. Instead of avoiding it, they should fully experience it without acting on it to hurt themselves or others. This is easier said than done but quite often therapeutic support in recovery can help.
Strategies for Healing
Recurrent depression can be difficult to deal with. Mindfulness may be useful to prevent relapse and help a person maintain better mental health. Studies show mindfulness can reduce a person’s chances of being depressed. Learning about mindfulness can help ensure they manage depression better in the long term. Healing from it means managing in many cases, not curing. This is different as a focus but can be life-changing in recovery from addiction and shift the entire narrative of the conversation about how to heal well in recovery.
If you want to heal from a depressive feeling, thoughts of wanting to quit drugs or drinking, we are here to help you. We have been there and understand what you need. We will help you detox, join inpatient programs, design a path that works for you, and support you with therapeutic tools. Our goal is to help you heal in recovery. Call us to find out more: 888-981-4295