Addiction is a chronic disease that needs to be managed over time. One of the issues that the newly sober addict experiences especially in the first month of sobriety is depression. As a matter of fact, early sobriety and depression are almost guaranteed to occur. Symptoms of depression during sobriety can happen at any time, but are more likely to peak during detox and will summarily begin to fade overtime. If you are an addict and need help with recovery, give us a call at 877-481-8803 now!
Initial depression in sobriety
Often addicts who abuse alcohol and drugs know that depression after quitting alcohol is almost certain. Usually a trigger for alcoholics is going to social settings such as a bar, holiday event or family gathering. But now, since sobriety, unless new activities are in place boredom is almost imminent. And boredom causes depression.
There needs to be awareness around how the increased level of depression can possibly result in the addict relapsing back into their drug of choice. The feeling of hopelessness may cause addicts to be unable to find joy in their lives. Again, that feeling of powerlessness could very well put the addict into some form of relapse.
Sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean depression
A common misconception is that being sober is depressing, but the basis of depression after achieving sobriety has its roots in brain chemistry. Substance abuse causes our bodies to remove necessary chemicals that our brains need to function properly. As a result, emotional and physical discomfort usually occurs for a short period of time, and a bit of anxiety is very common with opiate and stimulant withdrawal.
Early sobriety and depression and suicidal thoughts
Coming from a life of drug addiction or alcoholism to a life centered on recovery is a complete shift in behavior, a change in lifestyle. Many addicts used drugs or alcohol primarily to mask underlying mental health issues. It’s no surprise that without self-medication, feelings of suicide may increase.
What to do when bored and depressed during early sobriety
Dealing with boredom in recovery is a skill that most addicts will need to master. Some of the ways that that the depressive episodes are managed in early sobriety are:
- CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Goal Setting
- Increased Physical Activity
Early sobriety and depression are to be expected.
Depression in early sobriety is something that should be expected in the early stages of sobriety. The only real way that true recovery can be achieved is through time, behavioral therapy, and by the body recovering from the damage caused through substance abuse. If you or a loved one feel that it’s time to achieve sobriety call us at Bridges of Hope our phone number is 877-481-8803.