Giving up drugs or alcohol can be similar to losing a best friend. It was the one thing you always relied on and it was always there when you needed to unwind, have fun, or when you were just bored. It wasn’t a positive, healthy relationship, but it was one that became a large part of your life.
When you gave up drugs or drinking, you lost that part of your life. It can make you feel sad and disappointed because, even though you know it wasn’t good for you, you miss being able to turn to it. It can leave you feeling hopeless and somewhat lost, along with feelings of guilt and shame. Depression can develop in early recovery after your detox because of these feelings. Additionally, you can’t expect to feel at your best immediately following your detox. Weaning yourself off alcohol and/or drugs can take time for your body to readjust, and alcohol itself is a depressant that can alter your brain’s chemistry.
Depression and Early Sobriety
Depression is more than a case of the “blues” and can affect your recovery. It can make functioning seem nearly impossible, which isn’t going to help when you’re trying to rebuild a life after addiction.
People experience it differently, but common symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness that go beyond having a bad day
- Having negative thoughts about yourself, your life, and the future
- Not wanting to get out of bed to face the day
- Feeling tired all the time
- Not wanting to eat, or overeating
- Feeling that life lacks meaning
- Having an inability to concentrate
- Having suicidal thoughts
If these symptoms are present and last longer than a few days, depression could be the culprit. It’s common to experience depression during early sobriety. If someone doesn’t feel hopeful about their progress in recovery, it can lead to a relapse.
Someone who has worked to get clean physically and to begin the real process of recovery after their treatment program has ended should feel hopeful about the future. If someone doesn’t care about anything because of depression, then they may not see a reason to continue to stay sober. The feelings associated with depression could become so unbearable that they turn to drugs or alcohol again to cope, leading them back into the cycle of addiction.
How Brain Chemistry Can Cause Depression
Depression can occur as a result of the damage done to the brain’s chemistry when someone abuses drugs or drinks. Alcohol is a depressant in itself. Many drugs alter the chemicals in the brain that control pleasure. When the body gets used to these chemicals and then they are no longer in the system it can take time for the body to readjust.
There is help available. First, someone in recovery experiencing depression should remember that it is not their fault. They did not do anything wrong and it is not punishment for their past behavior. Depression is an illness just like diabetes that can be treated with the right regime. It is important for someone who is showing signs of depression to get help immediately.
Providing Safe Environments for Detox
If you’re considering getting treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at Freedom Detox. There is no reason to be afraid to get help. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have about the process. We offer outpatient programs designed to let you continue to work and meet family obligations while you get help. When you join us, you can pursue recovery from drugs or alcohol in a safe, caring environment.
Contact Freedom Detox today online or by phone at (877) 207-8882 to learn more about our facility and the detox services we offer. Your first step towards freedom begins with picking up the phone and seeking assistance.