America has become a country of pill poppers. Is this a harsh statement? Yes, but it’s also factual. Psychology Today ran an article in April 2011 entitled, Is Medication the Answer to Depression? It revealed that in 1996, 13 million U.S. residents were treated with antidepressants. By 2015, that number rose to 27 million. According to research charted by Business Insider, the United States is, as of 2016, the leading country in antidepressant use.
Most individuals that are addicted to drugs and alcohol begin using because of the stress and battles they’re forced to deal with on a daily basis. Some can’t cope with life’s challenges, some use to fill a void in their lives, and many use because of peer pressure. No matter the reason, people use to cover their pain like a Band-Aid, but it’s a temporary fix.
Interestingly, depression commonly accompanies substance abuse recovery. Prescription antidepressants are often narcotic in nature, which presents a danger to those with addictive tendencies. Non-prescription ways to treat depression are of paramount importance to recoverees.
Focus on Stress Management
Okay, we all know managing stress isn’t an easy task. It seems like no matter where we go or what we’re faced with there is always some type of stress. Learning to manage it takes a little effort, but it can be done.
First, keep in mind that there are some simple occurrences that can trigger stress:
Understand that it’s important to eat properly, get ample rest, and get plenty of socialization with positive friends and family. If you follow this pattern, you’ll feel less angry, and your road to recovery will become much easier.
Exercise Regularly and Outdoors
You don’t have to be athletic or create a strict workout routine, but you do need to ensure that you get plenty of exercise. Something as simple as walking or swimming is an excellent form of exercise. You’ll find that with regular exercise you’ll begin to feel better not only mentally but also physically.
Walking or swimming outdoors whenever possible will help soak in some natural sunlight, which is important for the mind and body. The fresh air will help you rest better and get a good night’s sleep. Take a close friend with you because exercise is always more fun with a buddy.
Find Support Groups
Look for a local support group (or even an online community) where you will have the opportunity to talk with others who have experienced situations similar to yours. Getting out to meetings regularly will give you a reason to leave the house, and you’ll meet new friends who will leave a positive impact. Many online communities have local groups that organize meetings, so you can build up some comfort and courage before going in person.
Anytime you begin to feel stressed or start to think about using again, you’ll have the support of your sponsor and the group to help get your mind back on track again. And don’t forget to talk to your substance abuse counselor for tips on coping with depression without a prescription.