It is a feeling that is hard to explain and hard to pinpoint. Depression leaves you bedridden, miserable and unable to carry conversations. In essence, it leaves you crippled. But know this: depression is far less painful than being in an active drug addiction and it is far easier to treat than the 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 comedowns, 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 a person 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 or adrenalin 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.
So what is happening then?
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 drug addiction is kicked.
When in the spiral of 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.