Experiencing Depression During Substance Abuse Treatment: What Can Be Done?
Making the decision to seek treatment for substance abuse is the first step toward regaining control of your life and putting the past where it belongs. While it will take a lot of hard work, you are not alone. There will be a support network that can help you get through days when you feel as if nothing is going right and it would be so easy to slip back into those habits. One of the ways your network will support you is being there when depression begins to sit in.
Not a Case of the Blues
The depression that you are feeling as you move through your treatment is not just a temporary case of the blues. Your body is in the process of making an adjustment and that’s bound to have an impact on the way your mind and emotions function. As your body experiences the cravings for the substance that once was the center of your existence, expect to exhibit all the characteristics of moderate to deep depression.
You may find that every little thing others say or do irritates you to the point of distraction. On one level, you realize that there is no logical reason to be affected so severely by what is happening around you. Even so, you have trouble shaking off the irritability and fighting the desire to rip into others with every ounce of ire that you can muster.
At the same time, there is an apathy that seems to settle over you at times. Nothing holds your interest, food is always bland, and it doesn’t seem to matter if you get anything done today or not. Life seems to be a constant state of gray, with no black or white to be seen.
Your energy level is also at a low point. Getting out of bed in the morning seems to take everything you’ve got. While handling routine tasks like grocery shopping, you almost have the sensation of watching while someone else is filling the basket. All you really want to do is find a place that’s quiet, dark, and go back to sleep.
To make things even more confusing, there are periods when you have some energy and want to be around other people. Food even tastes good. Unfortunately, those episodes seem to go as quickly as they come.
Letting Others Help
The same team that’s helping you with the substance abuse recovery understands how depression and addiction feed off one another. That’s why they will work with you to come up with the right type of therapy to overcome the cycle you seem to be trapped in. If medication is an option, they will know what to prescribe and how to help you understand how to take it responsibly.
Your depression is not a permanent state. Even though you will manage your addiction for the rest of your life, what you are going through now will fade away. Little by little, your days will be filled with more periods when you feel almost normal. People will irritate you a little less, food will regain some of its taste, and some of those mundane tasks will actually begin to be a little fun again.
Confide in your support network and give them the chance to help. Together, you will get through this and look forward to the dawn of a new day.
Robert Hunt is a recovering addict of 7 years. He has devoted his life to helping others suffering from chemical addictions as well as mental health challenges. Robert maintains many blogs on drug addiction, eating disorders and depression. He is a sober coach and wellness advocate and a prominent figure in the recovery community.