As you already know if you are considering recovery or have been in recovery for some time, it is often a lonely journey. Especially at first. Your whole life changes overnight and new challenges can arise daily. Even though the journey is well worth the effort it can be stressful. This stress often leads to depression.
Depression is more than just occasionally feeling down, it is a feeling of doom and gloom that hangs around at varying levels throughout your day and night. Some days you may be up, but others you may not feel like even opening your eyes. If you are suffering from depression you should first have a medical exam. Depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance or vitamin deficiency. If this is the case then medication can correct many of the issues. However, sometimes depression really is all in the mind and must be addressed in other ways.
If depression is plaguing your recovery then read on to find out how to better your mood and take control of your emotions.
You have made a huge step by entering recovery. While this is a great first step it does not mean that all things will automatically become great or even good. One challenge that many people face, even in recovery, is depression. Some people have depression and choose addiction as a treatment of sorts, while others develop depression due to addiction; either way the depression must be dealt with while in recovery. Depression can cause many issues in recovery including negative thinking, feelings, and behaviors. If allowed to continue unchecked, depression can quickly lead to a relapse.
The first step to dealing with depression and the associated negative thinking and feeling is to talk about it. Whether you talk to someone in your support group, a counselor, or some other professional, you need to share. Many times simply saying things out loud, sharing the problem, take the power out of the thought. This can also help you come up with a simple solution that may not have occurred to you when the thoughts and ideas were stuck in your head.
Additionally, you need to practice healthy self-care. It may seem like a small or unimportant thing but simply taking care of yourself each day can make a huge difference. In severe depression it can be difficult to even get out of bed. But if you can force yourself to get up, to shower, to fix a small meal, then life and the depression can get better. As you get in a self-care routine then you can add aspects such as taking a five minute walk or riding a bike in the yard. The little things can truly make a huge difference.
So if you are feeling depressed in recovery, take the first step and get a physical. If the cause is not physical in nature take further steps to help alleviate the depression though talk therapy and healthy self-care. Even if the cause is medical in nature medication is not the only answer. It can be controlled in time with lots of work. That choice is up to you. What will you do to help your depression?
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