Recovery is a time full of highs and lows that can leave you feeling on top of the world but also swallowed by it. Knowing how to spot the lows before they happen can keep your recovery on track without having things go off the rails completely. It is essential to look after your mental health to help with this, especially if you struggled with a co-occurring disorder while in treatment. Now that you are navigating recovery outside of treatment, it is crucial to understand the signs of when your mental health may be declining.
Everyone becomes annoyed from time to time, but consistent feelings of irritability can indicate a deeper problem. If you find yourself lashing out at those around you or being bothered by minor issues, it may be time to take a step back and check on your overall mental health.
Sleep is vital for everyone, but it is especially important for those in recovery. Getting enough sleep gives you the energy needed to make it through the day and keep your mood lifted. If you are experiencing constant sleep problems such as sleeping too much or sleeping too little, you may be suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.
Constant Feelings of Depression
Feeling sad is a normal emotion, but it becomes abnormal when you experience it most of the time. Depression can manifest itself in multiple ways, such as loss of interest in once-loved activities, having low energy, or feeling sad all the time. If you experience constant feelings of sadness that you can’t seem to shake, it may be a sign your mental health is suffering.
Feeling Disconnected From Reality
When you are struggling, it can be easy to allow your thoughts to swallow you whole. You may feel as though you are living in an entirely different world from others, causing you to feel disconnected from not only the people around you but from the very reality you are in. Feeling this way can be dangerous as it may drive you towards negative behaviors that you wouldn’t otherwise participate in.
Isolating From Friends and Family
Taking time for yourself is essential from time to time, but isolating yourself and avoiding friends and family can indicate a problem. It is crucial to have social contact, as it can boost your mood and avoid being swallowed by inner, intrusive thoughts. If you find yourself not wanting social contact as much as usual, consider checking on your mental health to see if something is causing it.
Those who struggle with poor mental health often find themselves doing poorly at school or work because they cannot concentrate on even the smallest of things. Poor concentration has to do with the brain going into survival mode and putting energy towards things that keep the person alive rather than other vital responsibilities.
Changes in Weight or Appetite
If you have noticed a sudden gain or loss of weight, declining mental health may be the culprit. Many individuals use food as a means of coping. Some people overeat, and some people lose their appetite, resulting in rapid weight changes.
Persistent Feelings of Guilt
Intrusive thoughts that cause you unhealthy amounts of guilt can be a sign of poor mental health. You may be experiencing thoughts such as, “I’m a failure,” “No one will ever love me,” or “Everything is my fault.” You may even begin to engage in self-deprecating behaviors such as always making jokes about how terrible you are or continually taking the blame for things. Declining mental health can cause you to feel guilty for numerous reasons, resulting in this self-deprecating humor and intrusive thoughts.
Poor Personal Hygiene
When you are suffering from poor mental health, it is common to go into survival mode; this means putting your energy towards things that keep you going, such as eating, drinking water, and sleeping. Things such as hygiene are placed on the back burner because you most likely won’t have the energy for them. These feelings can result in less frequent showering, brushing of the teeth, or combing of the hair. Others may label you as lazy when, in reality, you just don’t have the energy to put towards these things anymore.
Your recovery becomes the most important thing to look after once your leave treatment, as relapsing can send you into a downward spiral. If you are experiencing cravings to use again, it may be a sign that your mental health is in decline; this can put your recovery in jeopardy, and it is imperative to reach out for help sooner rather than later.
When you have been sober for a long time, you may stop engaging in the coping mechanisms and behaviors taught in treatment. You may even believe you don’t need them anymore. However, this can have severe consequences on your recovery, such as declining mental health. Recognizing the signs of declining mental health can help you avoid getting worse before things spiral out of control. It is also important to remember that just because you are out of treatment, that does not mean you cannot reach out to a facility to get the help you need. Northstar Transitions is always here for those in recovery that need help getting back on their feet after a rough patch. Our staff can offer you personalized care and aftercare methods to help you maintain your recovery for the long haul. Call us today at (303) 558-6400 to learn more about getting the help you need.