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Just because an individual has managed to escape from addiction does not always mean that their life will be fine thereafter. There will usually still be challenges to face, and part of this might be dealing with depression. Many people will have turned to addiction in the first place because they were suffering from depressive symptoms. This can mean that when they stop using these addictive substances they can be back to where they started, in pain and without a solution. I
t is important that anyone who is dealing with depression in recovery, please never ignore this symptom of chronic depressive feelings.
If you feel like you are battling depression, please go and see a professional. There is no shame in admitting you have depression. As a matter of fact, it is one of the principles of recovery, the principle that you are worth it. You deserve to take care of yourself for a change. Please recognize that a diagnosis of clinical depression coupled with addiction is very dangerous. The morbidity rate is very high. Just read the headlines about celebrities who have passed away who have had these serious diseases.
If it turns out that you go to a therapist and you find out that you have non-clinical depression and are experiencing normal reaction to painful life events and/or physical, mental and emotional stress and 12-step recovery is what you need, then great!! No harm, no foul. Going to therapy for a short time won’t hurt you. But, if you are working hard on your 12-step program, working the steps, staying in touch with a sponsor and a higher power, doing service work, eating right, and you just can’t shake the blues, please consider adding professional psychological help to support your recovery program
Now, let’s define Depression.
Depression is more than just feeling a bit down. It’s a medical illness that involves both mental and physical elements. Depression can impact every aspect of the individual’s life and can make normal functioning almost impossible.
Rick, let’s turn to you first,
What are your first thoughts on the opening statements?
Where do you want to start, what is it you want to say?
In recovery, do you battle depression?
What does it look look to you?
Have you seen a professional?
How was that for you?
For the new person who may think they have depression, how should someone seek professional help?
What should they expect?
What is the process like?
How long should they expect to be in therapy?
What are some of the obstacles to seeking therapy?
Stigma, within the AA community
Stigma, how it affects you reputation
Stigma, how it affects your self-esteem
Working with insurances
Availability of therapists