Mental health and the use of addictive substances are often closely interconnected. Overcoming the use of drugs and alcohol involves challenging many difficult emotions to create a healthy, sober life. However, even alumni who have navigated a dedicated addiction treatment program can still be tasked with overcoming a plethora of difficult emotional states and mental health disorders. In other words, ceasing the use of drugs or alcohol does not mean that a person’s journey with mental health disorders has concluded.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, attention must be brought to these challenges, whether an individual is just beginning their healing journey or continuing to manage their sobriety while challenging feelings of anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders that may inform daily life.
The Continued Effects of Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders are incredibly complicated. Oftentimes, the prevalence of mental health disorders can inform a person’s decision to turn to drugs or alcohol in the first place, either as an attempt to placate these intense feelings or self-medicate during trying times. Others may have developed mental health disorders as a result of the impact of addictive substances on a person’s brain and thought processes. However, regardless of which came first, research shows that nearly 40% of those with addiction must also overcome a co-occurring mental health disorder to create a truly transformed future.
Mental health disorders come in many forms. While feelings of anxiety and depression are incredibly common throughout addiction recovery, other mental health disorders can further impact an individual’s healing journey. Some common mental health disorders that may continue to impact those in recovery include:
These intense emotions and mental health disorders not only continue to inform stress and daily challenges but can also increase an individual’s risk of relapse. The journey of overcoming mental health disorders is a lifelong one, and continuing to identify particular stresses is paramount to embracing a truly transformed lifestyle in sobriety.
Identifying Mental Health Challenges in Daily Life
While navigating dedicated detox, residential, and outpatient treatment programs to overcome the use of addictive substances should always be celebrated, it is still important to identify the continued effects of mental health challenges. Being able to identify not only how mental health disorders may impact daily life but also developing new strategies to overcome these feelings is necessary to maintain the lifestyle established in dedicated treatment programs.
Sources of Stress
Alumni of dedicated treatment programs face no shortage of stress in their transition to new, sober lives outside of treatment. Mental health disorders can often be informed by these stresses, exacerbating already prevalent challenges of anxiety or depression or causing additional stresses that may compromise other coping strategies.
For some, workplace stresses can be exhausting and birth intense feelings of anxiety on their own through long hours or toxic work environments. Others may find that previous relationships may bring back difficult familiar feelings, such as with non-supportive friends or social groups that may remind an individual of past mistakes or introduce unnecessary risks. Other common symptoms of mental health disorders that can continue to affect sober life may include:
- Feelings of self-doubt or guilt
- Drastic mood swings
- Inconsistent sleep schedules
- Social withdrawal or self-isolation tendencies
- Persistent feelings of sadness, lethargy, or a lack of motivation
- Consistent feelings of fear or worry, even when such feelings may seem inappropriate
These feelings can still be prevalent in sobriety. Taking action to address these feelings in daily life is paramount. Without acknowledging or creating personalized strategies to process these feelings or other effects of mental health disorders, they can continue to inform a person’s daily routine and emotional state. Moreover, it is also common that unaddressed mental health disorders can bring new challenges that can lead to slips or relapse. Continuing to manage sobriety means not only tending to personal sober goals but making a plan to process the effects of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders through professional programs and a strong, informed support system.
Creating a Plan to Address Mental Health in Sobriety
Mental health disorders are not something that will simply disappear, and it takes dedicated effort to address and overcome them in conjunction with a person’s continued sober efforts. Having dedicated strategies to process anxiety, depression, panic, or self-destructive thoughts and behaviors is paramount. Supports of those navigating their continued sobriety also cannot simply expect those having navigated a treatment program to have completely overcome difficult mental health disorders or traumatic experiences. Professional treatment and continued outpatient support are paramount for not only continuing to overcome various symptoms of mental health disorders but preventing them from impacting a person’s hard-earned sobriety.
Hawaii Island Recovery’s luxury mental health facilities and treatment programs are committed to the transformative spirit of recovery, addressing not just the need for sobriety, but also each individual’s daily needs and goals for overcoming mental health disorders to create a truly transformed future.
Mental health disorders are complex and difficult to overcome. If you or a loved one are continuing to navigate your newfound sober lives and are continuing to manage the effects of mental health disorders, Hawaii Island Recovery can help. Our comprehensive approach to recovery and luxury mental health facilities are committed to a holistic approach to recovery and sobriety. We can personalize your time with us to develop a program that addresses substance use, mental health disorders, and other personal needs in tandem for an effective recovery, all backed by a community of acceptance, spiritual healing, and continued success. For more information on how we can help, call to speak to us today at (866) 390-5070.