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By Orlando Treatment October 10, 2022

Dealing With Depression After Addiction Treatment

In many cases, the more damaging effect of substance abuse is not experienced during the

addiction phase, but rather, when one has stopped using it. After recovery, depression after drug addiction can occur. In the context of substance abuse disorder, the relationship between addiction and depression is a complex one.

There are those who believe they got into substance dependence specifically to compensate for an actual or perceived depression that they suffer from. Therefore, suggesting that depression came before substance dependency. In other cases, people say that they developed feelings akin to depression while taking substances. This could be due to the isolation it created, or during the lucid moments when they were not in the grip of a high or were not inebriated.

Others still claim that they only developed depression after they went into rehab, saying intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and unexplainable melancholy gripped them from time to time. All of these accounts actually have a valid basis, as most forms of depression are often associated with chemical imbalances happening in the body, and substances are known to also affect the chemistry of the body as well.

How is Depression Related to Addiction?

Depression Related to Addiction

Of all the emotions often associated with substance or alcohol abuse, depression is often the most talked-about. Not only because depression is also largely associated with a disruption of the chemicals in the body, but also because of how society perceives the use of substances to deal with emotional issues.


  • Depression Before Addition

    The most popular alcohol brands utilize advertisements that portray enjoyment, social acceptance, and happiness when one indulges in alcohol. In social circles, people would often take alcohol or other substances to relieve them of intense emotions they cannot deal with at the moment. This kind of perception has influenced how people look at the link between addiction and depression.

    It also affects how people see which actually came first, the depression or the alcohol dependency. This creates an unnatural scenario: a person should drink whenever they are troubled. This creates the impression that alcohol, or any substance for that matter, is a cure for depression.


  • Depression During Addiction

    To this day and age, many still misunderstand the nature of a substance abuse disorder. It is a mental condition that is not contagious, and it is something that is actually treatable. This is worth mentioning because people still look at substance abuse as a taboo topic.

    As such, there are people who have a substance abuse disorder and would like to seek help but cannot or will not because of the social stigma that comes with it. This inability to ask for help, or even talk about it, is sure to lead to depression. From there, the person feels unwanted, isolated, and unvalued.


  • Depression After Addiction

    Going through bouts of depression once a person has completed the detoxification phase is something that is bound to happen. The chemicals in the brain get affected and altered when a person is a chronic substance user. This chemical effect is present even in those who take prescription medication and is not using it illicitly. Medication, whether prescription or not, and alcohol are chemicals. Once introduced into the body, these things bring about a change.

    After detox, as the body starts to readjust to the normal chemical composition of the body that is free of substances, the urge to engage in substance use will come every now and then. Not being able to take these substances will definitely create melancholy in the person, as the urges and cravings become more powerful and frequent. These intense cravings, however, could be dealt with through medication-assisted treatment.

    Another cause for depression after addiction is the fact that many people who get into substance abuse do so to get out of their minds and remove themselves from the reality of life. Many find the reality of life to be quite harsh, complicated, and difficult to understand. Being exposed to it once more and not having the escape provided by substances brings about feelings of hopelessness and intense sadness in many former substance abusers. Although this condition could be dealt with through the therapy that comes in the rehabilitation process.

    Trying to fit in once rehabilitation is completed is another reason why some people feel depression in recovery. There are instances wherein other people find out about a person’s previous substance abuse issue, and even though the person has successfully completed rehabilitation, the focus for many is still on the substance abuse. This creates a good amount of friction and awkward moments when the person tries to reintegrate into normal life.

    Others are not so fortunate and find out that they could not get back to their former place of work, and that the people they once thought were friends and close associates have now distanced themselves from the person.


Does Depression Have an Impact on Recovery?

Dealing With Depression After Addiction Treatment

Depression has a significant impact on recovery for many people. The therapy that goes into the rehabilitation phase works to do the following:

  • Build a person’s confidence
  • Create personal motivations to stay sober
  • Enhance a person’s ability to cope with stress
  • Equip them with skills to become a better person after rehab

Despite all of this, being ostracized and considered a pariah because of a history of substance abuse is sure to erode any person’s confidence to zero. This lack of social acceptance is sure to lead to depression, and many don’t recover from this. This situation could very well lead a person into a relapse.

Let Orlando Treatment Solutions Help You With True Recovery

Recovery does not just cover addiction. Recovery also means being able to live a life free from other constraints, such as depression. We here at Orlando Treatment Solutions like to look at the problem from a number of approaches, so that we see more, and we get a better insight. This means we will do our best to not only help you recover from addiction, but also from depression as well.

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