Depression in Addiction Recovery

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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 from 15th April, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:


Wow, what a subject!!! I am not a medical doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist or have any specialised 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 realy 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 Bi polar or manic depression.

Dual diagnosis are very common in the treatment of addiction, which does cause a bit of a dilema 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:

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 normalise. Unfortunately if the person is addicted, this will not happen. If you want more information :

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 than we tend to realise. CBT is a great tool to learn this. 

My next article is on Excuses, stay tuned.

The article of "Recovery from Addiction" Depression is 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 click on the blue box below.

Growth in Recovery and in life, takes commitment & courage, but if you are not willing to take a risk, and push your boundaries, even a little then you will be stuck where you are, until you do.

If, like me & you are in recovery, then I know your pain & you have been to hell and back. But think of this, you are not a victim, but a survivor and as a survivor you deserve to give yourself every opportunity you possibly can. "Keep breaking the mould and keep it real"

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