When you stop drinking or using drugs and begin recovery, every aspect of your life and the lives of the people you love are shaken. Although it’s a step in the right direction, it’s not a simple or easy adjustment. One of the outcomes many people experience is depression after quitting drinking.
Why Depression After Quitting Drinking Occurs
Ending your addiction to alcohol does not necessarily mean you’ll feel happy immediately. In fact, it may have been profound feelings of sadness and isolation that drew you toward medicating yourself with alcohol in the first place.
Although the origins of your despair or intense anxiety may be a mystery to you at this point, you can be sure of one thing: if you don’t address your depression, it can jeopardize the sobriety you have worked so hard to build. Common signs of depression include:
- Mood swings or emotional outbursts
- Starting new addictive or compulsive behaviors
- Isolating yourself
- Feeling bitter or resentful
- A tendency to lie about behaviors
- Negative attitude
- An exaggerated sense of your own importance
Depression after quitting drinking can be demoralizing, and it can lead you to feel like all of your efforts have amounted to nothing. However, this is just another aspect of the recovery journey.
Steps You Can Take to Fight Depression After Quitting Drinking
There are several ways to address what you are experiencing. First and foremost, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional. If you struggled with depression before your addiction or if this is your first time experiencing symptoms, a therapist or medical practitioner can help diagnose your symptoms. Understanding your condition is the first step to managing it.
Furthermore, if you need medication or therapy, these professionals will be able to guide you toward those options.
After meeting with a professional, there are several other things you can do to manage your depression after quitting drinking. For example, it often helps to reach out to others who are in recovery and have experienced similar symptoms. Go online or look for 12 Step meetings in your area. These provide anonymous support at no cost, no questions asked.
Additionally, some people find solace in starting a journal. In fact, this is also a common strategy in professional therapy sessions. When sadness or anxieties arise, put them down in words. By becoming adept at expressing them in non-addictive ways, you will develop a resiliency that will serve as a vital life-line.
How Petersen Family Counseling Can Help With Depression After Quitting Drinking
Petersen Family Counseling is a depression treatment center which focuses on helping clients and those they love deal with the effects of substance abuse and addiction. Our caring staff includes experts in addiction who understand how it impacts the entire family and support system. They know that lasting recovery won’t happen unless all of the members of the system receive the attention and help they need. To that end, we provide the following services:
- Addiction treatment consulting
- Codependency therapy
- Adolescent counseling
- Individual counseling
- Premarital and marital counseling
- Family retreat weekend
Finally, if you or someone you love is experiencing depression after quitting drinking and lives in Colorado, the qualified therapists at Denver’s Petersen Family Counseling can help. Take the first step toward reclaiming your life today. Call us at 720-513-1465.