Addiction dictionary definitionde·pres·sion
[dih- presh- uhn]
the act of depressing.
the state of being depressed.
a depressed or sunken place or part; an area lower than the surrounding surface.
sadness; gloom; dejection.
Psychiatry. a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.
Hi, it’s Dermot again. If you read my last blog, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a “Recovery from Addiction Series”, If not read on:
Depression in Recovery-How to recognise it?
Wow, what a subject!!! I am not a medical doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist or have any specialized knowledge in the subject of Clinical Depression. All I can share is my experience of the feeling of depression in addiction in “Recovery from Addiction Series” Depression
When I was in active addiction I cannot really remember suffering from depression, I suffered more from anxiety and nostalgia & I suppose they are forms of depression. I was never diagnosed with or treated for depression, probably as I had a huge fear of doctors. However when I was drinking I was in a depressed state, but due to the numbing effects of alcohol, I didn’t realize it.
When I got sober and in recovery the depression lifted but I still, like all of us, had depressing days. Feeling depressed and having depression do tend to get mixed up but are not the same at all. We all can feel depressed at times but do not necessarily have to be suffering from depression.
Clinical Depression is a medically diagnosed condition and there are many different forms of clinical depression from mild depression to Bipolar or manic depression.
Dual diagnosis is very common in the treatment of addiction, which does cause a bit of a dilemma in treatment planning, as what do you treat first or how do you treat both simultaneously. The chicken & egg situation. I will not elaborate on this as this is a huge subject on its own. If you want to more information see link at bottom of the page:
Feeling depressed in my opinion is over diagnosed, especially with people in active addiction and in early recovery. Many people think that they drink because they are depressed, whereas they are depressed because they drink. The nature of the addicted mind is to look for any label, to take the focus away from the addiction. Depression & anxiety fit the bill. Alcohol and many other drugs have depressive agents. So in light of this, they think that if they are treated for the depression first the drinking will normalize. Unfortunately, if the person is addicted, this will not happen. If you want more information see link at bottom of the page:
As I am not talking about Clinical Depression here, but the emotion of feeling depressed, like all emotions, depression is transitory. You DO NOT have to feel depressed and probably don’t, all the time. Take stock of any single day in your life in recovery and just take note of all the emotions, both good and bad that you feel. You will see that you have had a mix of emotions, and they in most cases didn’t linger too long.
Your thoughts are directly linked to how you feel. If you are feeling depressed for some reason, ask yourself, what am I thinking about. Once you have this awareness, you can challenge yourself, challenge your thinking and thus change how you feel. This is a process however and does take a lot of self-awareness, but you will soon start to see results. The more you do this the easier it will become over time.
Nobody wants to feel depressed or in a low mood, and to justify this we use excuses and blame to keep us in a “Poor Me” state. In reality, we have a lot more control and power over our own thoughts and emotions that we tend to realize. CBT is a great tool to learn this. Depression in Recovery-How to recognise it?
My next article is on Excuses, stay tuned.
Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life-changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.
I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth-seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through online marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want to change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7-day video series to watch.
The articles in “Recovery from Addiction” Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the box below & not on social media sites.
Thanks for your time and have a great day
If you want to more information: https://www.dualdiagnosis.org/