When you are dealing with a substance use problem, one of the hardest things to do is ask for help. It’s difficult to reach out and tell people what you’re going through. It can be hard to open up and be honest. But, it’s truly the best thing you can do. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that you will still face difficulties along the road to recovery. Once you overcome the substance abuse problem, it might be difficult to stay on the right track. It’s not easy to adjust to a new way of living. Of course, you have been working to change harmful patterns and behaviors in your life throughout the treatment process. But, even though you have been doing this for a while, it might be hard to maintain the progress you have made. As a result of the challenges you might encounter, you may suffer from an emotional or mental relapse.
Many times, people who go through treatment for drug or alcohol use problems struggle to truly overcome the issue. Life after treatment can become very overwhelming. Sometimes, people who are working to overcome substance abuse struggle to keep a positive outlook in their lives. They might have a hard time if they don’t have a strong group of supportive family members and friends. Or, they may have trouble adjusting to work life after having been in treatment for so long. Getting back into the swing of things is far from easy for many individuals. Even those who are still in treatment may struggle to stay on the path to recovery. Unfortunately, the challenges people face often leads to relapse.
Whether you are still in treatment or you have completed your treatment program, it’s important to learn how to avoid a mental relapse in your life.
What Exactly is a Mental Relapse?
Many people know the general meaning of relapse. But, most people may not realize that relapse actually happens in multiple stages. There are three main stages: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. When you think about the word “relapse”, you may immediately think of a person using or drinking during or after treatment. But, this is actually the stage of physical relapse. Before a person gets to this point, he or she will first go through an emotional and mental relapse. During an emotional relapse, people may begin to feel depressed or sad. Sometimes, this happens because recovery brings many changes to a person’s life. It can be a really uncertain time for those who are working to overcome an alcohol or drug abuse problem. Sadly, this uncertainty has been known to cause people to feel overwhelmed. And it often leads to unpleasant emotions and, yes, depression.
A mental relapse is what happens if the individual does not overcome the emotional relapse stage. During this stage of relapse, people may begin to think about using or drinking again. Sometimes, those who are experiencing a mental relapse may have a difficult time staying focused on their recovery. Mental relapses often cause people to lose the motivation to continue moving forward. Unfortunately, mental relapses can lead to physical relapses. So, it’s important to learn how to work through this stage before that happens.
Some Common Signs of Mental Relapse
Now, let’s talk about what mental relapse looks like and identify some of the common signs of this stage. An individual who is experiencing a mental relapse may:
- Think about using again.
- Begin looking for chances to use again.
- Crave the substance he or she used to use
- Avoid group meetings and therapy sessions.
- Start thinking about people they used to use with.
- Think about the places where he or she used to use.
- Think about how drugs and alcohol used to make them feel.
The best way to fight off mental relapse is to speak with your therapist. Figure out ways to talk and work through these thoughts. You can also engage in exercise or take a walk in order to get through this.
Overcoming Substance and Preventing Relapse
If you are currently struggling with a substance abuse problem, know that you do not have to feel ashamed to reach out for help. Here at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services, we are dedicated to helping our clients find total freedom from substance dependence. Our mission is to assist people in overcoming substance dependence for good. We know that the journey to recovery is not easy. There will be many challenges along the way. But, we want to walk with you on this journey, helping you to overcome every single difficulty. You do not have to go through this transition alone. Just contact us here at Diablo Valley. Let us help you to leave drug and alcohol abuse in the past. And allow us to equip you with the skills you’ll need to avoid relapse in the future.