Coping with Withdrawal-induced Depression

Many commonly abused substances, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, prescription opioids, and benzodiazepines, can cause withdrawal-induced depression when a person attempts to stop using them. Whether the individual has been abusing these substances or not, if they have been taking them for a long period of time, they will have likely become dependent on them and will experience depression as a symptom of withdrawal. Below are several tips on how to cope with withdrawal-induced depression.

Seek Drug Abuse Treatment

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Each psychoactive substance class has different effects on the brain” and will cause different withdrawal symptoms. Depression, though, is a common protracted withdrawal symptom (meaning it lasts beyond the time that the usual, acute symptoms subside). One of the best ways to treat this issue is to seek drug abuse treatment.

Behavioral therapy will often be used to help rebuild your self-esteem and allow you to learn ways to better cope with depression. In addition, this treatment will also focus on your drug abuse and the prevention of relapse. You may also be given anti-depressants if your symptoms are incredibly severe. It is very important to seek professional treatment for this withdrawal symptom in particular, as depression can help lead to relapse, suicidal thoughts, and other issues and make it much more difficult and dangerous for a person to recover from addiction and dependence on drugs.

Journal Writing

Withdrawal-induced Depression

Writing in a journal can help your counselor understand and treat your symptoms better.

Just getting your thoughts out on paper can help you cope with the depressive symptoms your withdrawal is causing. While it may seem like too simple of a solution, it actually does help many people analyze their thoughts and get rid of those that are most harmful to them. They can also show these musings to their counselor who can better understand their feelings and needs, allowing them to more easily and accurately treat them.

Reach Out to Friends and Family

SAMHSA states, “Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope” is one of the four major dimensions that support a life in recovery. Having these kinds of relationships to lean on can also help you cope with your depressive symptoms when they become intense.

You may want to ask a friend or family member who is close to you to live with you during this difficult time and watch for any serious signs of depression. This way, you won’t be alone if any dangerous symptoms occur, and you will also know you have someone on your side, supporting you and ready to listen if you need to discuss your feelings. Avoiding isolation is a huge part of coping with depression, and it is important that you do this by inviting those you trust into your life as means of support.

Need Help for Withdrawal-Induced Depression?

The National Library of Medicine states that cocaine can cause some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms of any drug, including serious depressive symptoms, and other drugs of abuse can cause this issue to a dangerous degree as well. Withdrawal-induced depression can last a long time, and one should seek treatment for it in order to handle it safely and effectively. Call 800-598-5053 (Who Answers?) today to find out more about treatment for depressive disorders, withdrawal, and addiction.


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