About Mental Relapse: What It Is and How to Overcome It

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About Mental Relapse: What It Is and How to Overcome It

After you go through treatment for addiction, you will find that new challenges will arise. There will be obstacles that you didn’t know you would have to face. You’ll struggle with things in a new way. It will be very important to remember and apply the tools that you learned during your time in treatment. Relapse prevention is not a set of rules. It’s much more than that. The relapse prevention skills you’ve learned will not only help you immediately after treatment but throughout the years to come. But, sometimes, it can be hard to stay on track. Addiction relapse can happen before a person even realizes what’s taking place. There are several stages to relapse, including mental relapse. As you work to stay on the path to total recovery from addiction, it’s important to learn about this stage of relapse and how you can prevent it in your life.

The Definition of Mental Relapse

When people think about addiction relapse, most consider it to be the use of drugs or alcohol. However, relapse is not just the physical use of a substance after treatment. Before the outward signs of relapse occurs, people experience changes and struggles on the inside. First, individuals may go through what’s called an emotional relapse. During this stage, the individual may experience anxiety and uncertainty about their newfound sobriety. Sometimes, people who are emotionally relapsing will struggle with moodiness and irritability, depression, loneliness, and other emotional issues. In many cases, people experience insomnia and similar sleeping problems. An emotional relapse will also affect people in their social lives, causing them to lose interest in spending time with the people they love and even lose interest in attending meetings with their support groups. After an emotional relapse, some people relapse mentally. Although a mental relapse doesn’t involve substance use, it’s harmful.

A mental relapse is different than an emotional relapse in that individuals may begin to actually think about using aga. But it’s not because they want to deal with addiction again. The issue is that the individual who is relapsing is actually returning to old coping habits. See, people develop addiction problems because they use alcohol or drugs as a route of escape. Perhaps, they are trying to cope with or escape from triggers such as the effects of trauma, physical pain, stress, depression, or some other problem. So, they turn to substances in order to treat those issues. As a result, they may develop an addiction. After treatment, those triggers may come up, causing the individual to search for a way to cope which, for many, is alcohol or drug use. This is why they think about using the substances that used to help them to escape from difficulties.

How to Avoid Mental Relapse in Your Life

So, now that you know what mental relapse is, it’s time to learn about how to prevent it from occurring in your life. To avoid mental relapse, it’s important to recognize the signs. Once you do, take the necessary steps in order to avoid letting the situation get worse. One thing you can do is distract yourself. If you have a negative or harmful thought, find something else to do, something you enjoy. Go for a quick run or spend time with people who support your new life of sobriety. This will help you to develop a much more positive and healthy mindset. Most importantly, remember to be patient with yourself. You’ll face challenges along the road to recovery. Don’t allow yourself to be your own enemy by forgetting how far you’ve come. Walk this path one step at a time. And if you need extra help and support along the road, contact us here at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center.