Depression is a medically recognised disease that affects millions of people all over the world. However, for many of these people, the overwhelming feeling of being completely alone can be impossible to manage and they may think that there is no support for them, and certainly no way out of that feeling. Nonetheless, as many people who have been diagnosed with the disease and have undergone treatment for it know, this is not a permanent problem, and certainly not one that cannot be dealt with, with a little help.
Many people experience the signs and symptoms of depression but these are often not recognised and the individuals in question remain undiagnosed. This is a problem as it affects their lives and the lives of those around them negatively. When someone is experiencing depression, they may experience insomnia, or a desire to sleep all the time, loss of appetite and libido as well as many other symptoms. These can result in an inability to work and withdrawal from friends and family, which affects everyone in a negative way.
However help is always at hand if these individuals know how to ask for it, and in many cases this means being treated by a medical professional, going through therapy or even taking prescription medication to alleviate the problem. Asking for help is the first step and though it is a difficult one to take, it is the very step that can start suffering individuals on the journey to a better life. The types of medications that may be prescribed, for example Fluoxetine and Cipramil (to name a few) can assist in changing the individual’s brain chemistry. When this is done, the individual may find that they have the strength and the presence of mind to deal with the problem, rather than just hoping it passes.
Therapy is also a vital tool in this journey to mental health, and those who suffer from depression may find that just by having an objective audience to relate to can help them understand their depression on a new level. With this in mind, many may wonder why it is so difficult for these sufferers to ask for help. Too often, they do not understand the stigmas associated with the disease, and how patients often feel as though they are alone.
So what can sufferers of depression do? The first step has to be asking for help, whether this is from a family member or friend, or even a medical professional. Depression is not a permanent condition, and those who suffer from it are not alone. They have options and need to dig deep to find the courage to ask for the help they need. If they do not, the consequences could be dire. If they do however, they can get real help that makes a big difference.
How To Fight Depression After Drug Addiction
It is a feeling that is hard to explain and hard to pin point. Depression leaves you bed ridden, miserable and unable to carry conversations. In essence it leaves you crippled. But know this: depression is far less painful then being in active drug addiction and it is far easier to treat than addiction itself.
Once you put down the drugs, the possibility of depression is rife, however, you can fight this and you can overcome this. Using your drug of choice may feel like the simplest way to overcome your depression but that is just your addict’s voice lying to you and trying to feed your sickness. Logically drugs will make this depraved feeling a million times wore; you fought the drugs, you can easily fight the sadness.
Relapsing on your depression i.e using your depression as an excuse to use, is just that an EXCUSE. Drugs will only fuel your depression – think of the come downs, the paranoia and the constant anxiety for more and more. Your depression may even become more apparent on your drug of choice and can often lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide. There is a way out of this that doesn’t send you back to the pits of addiction. Just like you asked for help to stay clean, ask for help to beat your depression. Speak to a psychiatrist, make sure to tell them that you are an addict if medication needs to be subscribed for a period of time or simply share about what you are going through at an NA meeting or wherever it is you get your support. People have been through it and these people can and will help you if you just ask for that help.
There is nothing to be ashamed about and it is normal for recovering addicts to go through a phase of depression. You have been messing with your dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin levels by using your drugs and now they are adjusting to normality again. To put it simply, you have played with your ‘happy chemicals’ by ingesting your drug of choice and now that you have come off your drug of choice, your ‘happy chemicals’ are going to take their time to get back to normal. But if the depression becomes overwhelming and crippling – seek professional help and make sure that you let your therapist/psychiatrist or psychologist know that you are an addict. You have nothing to hide… you only have happiness, health and vitality to gain.
Make sure that you get support for the addiction and what you are going through.
Support can be the difference between depression and recovery.
After the drug addiction has passed, many former addictions become depressed. The reason for this is because when the person was on drugs, the brain created an excess of the hormone called dopamine. Dopamine is the happy hormone that provided the addict with that coveted high and the motivation behind getting high all the time.
While you are taking drugs, excess levels of dopamine are created, which is an artificial level of the hormone. When you stop taking drugs, your body can’t make this hormone on its own immediately, which will lead to depression in the addict. It is therefore always a thing that the person needs to take into account when going through recovery.
There are ways to fight depression after a drug addiction. One of the best ways is to take up exercise. The hormones released during exercise are a natural mood lifter that will help you to fight the depression. Aside from this benefit, exercise will also help your body to recuperate after the addiction and will help you to get your body to a healthy space again.
Try to avoid going onto anti-depressants, as this medication can also become habit forming. Instead, eating healthily, taking care of your body, exercising and getting fresh air and a lot of water will definitely put you in a better space to deal with the resulting depression that follows after a drug addiction is kicked.
When in the spiral of the drug addiction, it might be difficult for you to imagine a life of sobriety. However, there are literally millions of recovering drug addicts in the world today. This makes it clear that it is indeed possible for you to live a life free of addiction and to embrace a life of sobriety.
For more on depression support see the Recovery Direct page here.