5 Tips for Overcoming Depression and Alcoholism
Dealing with depression is difficult enough, but overcoming alcoholism on top of that can feel impossible for many people. In fact, this dual-diagnosis often drives people to relapse.
Depression is often a gateway into drug and alcohol use as a coping mechanism, so newly sober people often have to deal with these difficult thoughts and emotions for the first time in years.
But while this dual diagnosis is an added layer in your recovery, it’s certainly possible to beat both of them. Here are five helpful tips for overcoming both.
Focus on Diet and Exercise
You don’t need to become a health nut, but just walking for 30-60 minutes a few days each week will do wonders for your mental and physical health. Improvements in your diet will also wonder for your overall outlook. Avoid processed foods and focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Look at yourself as a car. You wouldn’t put regular gas in a car that required diesel fuel, so why do the same with your body?
Be of Service to Others
When we’re depressed or facing uncomfortable thoughts, it’s easy to obsess over those emotions. The quickest way to get out of your head is to donate your time helping those less fortunate. Volunteer at a community center, be a support system to someone else in recovery or give back to a cause you believe in. Making a positive contribution will give you a huge sense of accomplishment and know that you’re on the right track in your recovery.
Build a Solid Support Network
It can be hard to make new sober friends, especially for those who suffer from depression and already tend to withdraw from socializing. However, this is a crucial component to a successful recovery. Start with friends in support groups and build up your network from there. For those with depression, it’s also helpful to have friends who also suffer from depressive disorders and are in recovery because they can relate to the emotions you’re going through.
Avoid Places That Trigger Your Symptoms
This means ditch the bar where you regularly drank or a family dinner that may trigger depressive symptoms. But in the case of birthdays or holidays that might trigger these cravings, but are impossible to avoid, go in with a game plan. Bring someone from your support network or go in with a time limit for how long you will be at the event. However, also forgive yourself if you’re simply not able to attend these events in the early stages of your recovery.
Own Your Responsibility in Your Recover
The world will not stop drinking just because you have. It’s up to you to have the ability to say “no.” The same principle applies to your depression. While your support network can guide you during difficult times, it’s up to you to learn how to function on a daily basis and manage your condition. But while depression and alcoholism are two very difficult things to overcome, the resources and support systems are out there to help you do so and live a happy, sober life
Learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment programs available in your area.
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