Depression is a reality that many people in rehab must face but it is important for them to learn the skills to fight their more painful emotions. Feelings of sadness or worthlessness do not have to be overwhelming or impossible to deal with. These are some of the most effective ways to avoid severe depression while in addiction recovery.
Use a Support System
One of the best cures for depression is simply talking to a friend or someone who is willing to listen and understand. In recovery you have the opportunity to connect with a number of different people who are going through the same feelings and difficulties. Talk to a friend or a peer about your depression. They could be experiencing something similar to the thoughts that you have and you can learn to support each other in the hardest times.
Attend Individual Counseling
While in rehab, most patients have access to therapy or counseling sessions which can be a very effective way to fight depression. Professional therapists have the knowledge and skills to help you understand the reasons for your sadness and they can coach you into thinking more positive thoughts. Counseling can also be a good outlet to talk about your most personal feelings in a safe and confidential space. Consistently attending therapy sessions during rehab can quickly ease depression or anxiety.
Stay Busy and Focused
The time when addicts are at their best is when they are active and involved in life. It can be dangerous for someone with a substance abuse problem to spend too much time alone feeling bored or not knowing what to do with themselves. Empty moments can be a time when depression sets in so it is important for people in recovery to always keep a busy schedule. Stay connected and focused on your goals by getting involved in group activities and hobbies that are positive and fulfilling.
Be as Healthy as Possible
Many people don't realize how much their physical and mental health can be connected. In order to feel your best mentally you need to treat your body right by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. People often fall into the trap of replacing their alcohol addictions with cigarettes, caffeine or other unhealthy habits that can worsen depression. Being physically healthy can improve your mood and prevent you from feeling too low or slipping into a negative state of mind. A clean and healthy diet along with plenty of exercise can be an effective way to curb depression.
Connect with Your Spirituality
A key aspect of addiction recovery and also a helpful way to alleviate depression is to have some sort of spiritual life. People with addictions need to find their own meaning and feelings of spirituality whether that be through organized religion or their own philosophies on life. Activities like meditating can be a kind of spiritual practice that everyone can participate in regardless of religious beliefs. Focusing on spirituality can help bring a sense of fulfillment into your life that will work to reduce feelings of depression. A spiritual practice can help you develop a more positive outlook on life that will make it easier to deal with sadness, stress and anxiety.