Author: Gary Jackson

What to Do if You Relapse

They’ll be able to help adjust your treatment plan and provide coping mechanisms. A depression relapse happens when symptoms start to reappear or worsen again during recovery from an earlier episode. Relapse is most likely to occur within 2 months of stopping treatment for a previous episode. Depression puts a person at a higher risk for suicide, as does substance abuse. This is why it is paramount to recognize signs of depression in someone in recovery, as the stakes are as high as they get. It can begin with an emotional relapse, followed by mental and then physical relapses.

what does it mean when someone relapses

It is important to know that relapse does not represent a moral weakness. It reflects the difficulty of resisting a return to substance use in response to what may be intense cravings but before new coping strategies have been learned and new routines have been established. For that reason, some experts prefer not to use the term “relapse” but to use more morally neutral terms such as “resumed” use or a “recurrence” of symptoms.

Substance Abuse Relapse

Thinking about the full scenario after romanticizing substance abuse can also help. When a person in recovery is romanticizing their past use of a drug, they are often simply thinking of the early stages – the consumption of the drug. It can be helpful for an individual to continue to “play the tape through” and think about everything else that accompanies using, specifically all the consequences that come along with it. This can help an individual remember why they sought recovery in the first place. Sudden changes in the way someone in recovery is acting often precedes a relapse.

This may be evidenced by increased isolation and avoidance of one’s sober support system. A person may also cease the pursuit of interests and hobbies they have developed in recovery. Therefore, a key aspect of recovery is identifying potential triggers and risk factors and avoiding them as much as possible. Therapy is extremely helpful; CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is very specifically designed to uncover and challenge the kinds of negative feelings and beliefs that can undermine recovery. By providing the company of others and flesh-and-blood examples of those who have recovered despite relapsing, support groups also help diminish negative self-feelings, which tend to fester in isolation.

What are the early signs of a depression relapse?

Some people arrange a tight network of friends to call on in an emergency, such as when they are experiencing cravings. Since cravings do not last forever, engaging in conversation about the feelings as they occur with someone who understands their nature can help a person ride out the craving. Relapse is emotionally painful for those in recovery and their families. Nevertheless, the first and most important thing to know is that all hope is not lost.

  • Attending or resuming attending meetings of some form of mutual support group can be extremely valuable immediately after a lapse or relapse.
  • Explore the benefits of an individualized treatment plan for addiction counseling and why it’s a game-changer on the path to recovery.
  • A relapse or even a lapse might be interpreted as proof that a person doesn’t have what it takes to leave addiction behind.
  • Many people experience sadness or a loss of interest in everyday activities as a normal part of life.

But life is often unpredictable and it’s not always possible to avoid difficulty. The more ACEs children have, the greater the possibility of poor school performance, unemployment, and high-risk health behaviors including smoking and drug use. However, emotions and resulting behaviors may already be laying the foundations for future relapse. If you want to stop taking your medication, it’s vital that you speak with a doctor before doing so.

What to Do Right After a Relapse

People might go through one or more relapses before they succeed. Relapse occurs when a person returns to substance use after abstaining for a certain period. About 40% to 60% of people who get treatment for substance use disorder have a relapse.

Keep in mind that it is not always possible to avoid recurrences of depression, but treatments are available. These feelings can stem from a variety of factors, such as the loss of a loved one or overwork. Here is why it is normal and OK to disappoint others and how to cope with this reality.

Physical Relapse

It’s important for friends and family to be educated on what to look for as potential triggers for relapse, and it’s important for those in recovery to be able to monitor themselves as well. Whether or not you relapse is closely tied to your sense of self-efficacy. It often begins with a person’s emotional and cognitive state. Instead, it can be an opportunity to examine what lifestyle changes, coping skills, and adjustments may be needed to prevent relapse in the future. A mental health relapse occurs when a person begins experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition that worsen or lead to decreased functioning. For instance, a person who had experienced a period of remission from depression begins feeling hopeless, has a low mood, or has thoughts of death again may have relapsed.

  • Keep reading to learn more about symptoms, triggers, and coping mechanisms for depression relapse.
  • It is in accord with the evidence that the longer a person goes without using, the weaker the desire to use becomes.
  • They’ll be able to help adjust your treatment plan and provide coping mechanisms.