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depression in addiction recovery
April 19, 2021

Overcoming Depression in Addiction Recovery

Since mental health issues and substance abuse often go hand in hand, many recovering addicts are already familiar with the overwhelming hopelessness, chronic fatigue and persistent apathy that characterize depression. However, once you’re on the road to recovery, you’ll need to find new ways to manage depression symptoms without getting drunk or high. 

Natural Remedies for Depression in Addiction Recovery

After diagnosing you with depression, your doctor might initially prescribe you an antidepressant medication. While these medicines, combined with therapy, have helped some people feel better, your history of substance abuse might make you wary of managing your depression with drugs. Here are some drug-free ways to improve your depression symptoms.

1. Make Music Part of Your Daily Life

Regardless of your preferred genre, listening to music has significant mental health benefits. If you’ve ever found yourself moved to tears by a sentimental song or energized by an arena rock anthem, you probably already recognize music’s emotional power. Whether you use a playlist of your favorite upbeat tunes to motivate you during workouts or prefer to express yourself by playing an instrument, music helps change your brain and lift your mood.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Did you know there are almost as many ways to meditate as there are exercise styles? If you’ve struggled to make a habit of the traditional approach of sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, try bringing mindfulness to daily tasks such as eating, walking and doing chores. Becoming more mindful is beneficial in managing depression symptoms because it will keep you grounded in the present moment.

3. Set Attainable Goals

Adopting a goal-oriented mindset is valuable in recovery because it will help motivate and encourage you. Overcoming depression can seem like a significant hurdle, but breaking it down into smaller tasks will make it feel more achievable. Keeping your goals realistic and giving yourself deadlines for completing each step will help you stay on the right track. Don’t forget to celebrate each accomplishment as a victory. Reward yourself with a small treat, like takeout from your favorite restaurant.

4. Take Mental Health Days

Setting aside one or more days solely to focus on your mental well-being is one of the best self-care strategies for treating depression in addiction recovery. You can use this time to plan a digital detox, an at-home yoga retreat or some spring cleaning and decluttering around the house. Get creative and find something that helps you relax and improves your overall mood.

5. Adopt a Pet

If you’re stable enough in your recovery from depression and addiction, consider welcoming a pet into your life. A pet is a constant companion and source of unconditional love, and spending time with your pet can lower your blood pressure and stress levels. Caring for a pet will require you to stick with a consistent daily routine and give you something to look forward to. Adopting a dog can also encourage you to become more physically active, since you’ll have to take it for regular walks. 

Caring for another living being is a significant responsibility and not one to take lightly. Don’t commit to getting a pet unless you feel 100% confident you can ensure its health, happiness and well-being. Research your pet’s specific needs and calculate the average costs of taking care of it, including food and vet visits. 

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment at Beach House

Beach House is one of the nation’s foremost treatment centers for people struggling with co-occurring depression and addiction. At our beautiful, welcoming Florida campus, we offer clinically excellent practices alongside leading amenities and a compassionate culture. When you are ready to find freedom from substance abuse and improve your mental health, please contact us to verify your insurance and discuss your options.

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