How to Deal with Depression in Early Sobriety
Dealing with depression can feel impossible, especially when you’re in early sobriety and trading substance abuse for healthier coping mechanisms. While you may feel like you will never come out of your depression, the truth is that there are ways you can find relief.
Dealing with Depression in Early Sobriety
Depression can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes, depression is an underlying condition. Other times, depression can happen as a result of coming off substances, traumatic events, loneliness, or major changes. While it can help to try these tips to deal with depression in early sobriety, it’s also important to recognize when you need more intensive care for your depression.
1. Let Yourself Feel
Allowing yourself to experience and sort through whatever feelings are coming up can be essential to the healing process. Try not to block off your feelings, but if you notice that your emotions and thoughts become too much to bare, try coming back to them when you are in less of a vulnerable state.
2. Develop Healthier Coping Skills
Instead of resorting back to “self-medicating” with substances to deal with depression, it can help to find healthier coping skills, like talking to a friend, going for a walk, practicing a hobby, etc. In order to make a lasting change in sobriety, you will need to develop and practice more effective coping mechanisms when a problem or distressing feeling occurs. When you start to feel depressed in early recovery, consider it as a time that you get to use one of your newfound coping skills.
3. Work a Solid Program of Recovery
Try to remind yourself that the feelings you may be experiencing in early recovery won’t last forever. If you continue to work a program of recovery and maintain your sobriety, you may just notice everything starts to fall into place. It may not happen right away, but give it time and you will feel better as your quality of life starts to improve the longer you go without using substances.
4. Speak with a Professional
When depression does become too strong, you may find it helpful to seek support from a professional such as a psychiatrist and/or therapist. Depression can impact your mood as well as your ability to focus, sleep, and eat, so if you notice your depression taking a serious mental and/or physical toll, it’s time to seek professional support.
Above all, it’s important to remember to be kind and gentle with yourself in early recovery. The start to your recovery from addiction can bring up all types of feelings and emotions, but it doesn’t mean that you will be stuck feeling the negative ones forever. Remember that there is no shame in seeking additional support when you need it. Dealing with depression in early sobriety may not be easy, but it can get better when you take the measures necessary to heal from the inside and out.
If you still feel stuck in active addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, then make now the time that you get the help you need. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: addiction recovery, Depression, early recovery, sobriety