How to stop the downward spiral of depression

The Depression Spiral

Man with depression sitting in a field

Dealing with depression and its everyday affects can be crippling.  One of the things we have learned about is the depression spiral.  It can take an ordinary happy day and destroy it within minutes.  The sweaty palms, the nausea the negative thoughts, can intrude instantly. The key to this dealing with this is recognizing when it is happening.  BAM! Depression solved….  If only it were that easy.  

The Spiral

What we have seen goes something like this; doing well, then an event, it can be an actual event or even a thought.  This event triggers anxious and depressive thoughts, we then withdraw.  Withdrawal eliminates the good things we have been using to battle our depression.  We withdraw from our friends and family that we use for support, and we withdraw from our enjoyed activities that we use to focus our minds.  This withdrawal leads to, you guessed it, more depressive thoughts, and negative self-image.  This all culminates in a period of victory for depression. 

The Fix

Nothing will work for everyone all the time.  That being said, if we are able to recognize the spiral at any point in its spin, we can eliminate or reduce the negative effects.  Instead of removing the supportive family and friends, call them.  Reach out to those that know and love you and talk about whatever comes to mind.  We do not need to act like they are our therapists.  Just having someone there to listen and talk to can end the spiral.  Those activities that we enjoy,  Do them.  Whether it is taking a walk, going to the gym, gardening or maybe even cleaning.  Just take some time to engage in activities you enjoy.

Having substance abuse issues while dealing with depression, makes everything much more difficult.  Each moment that downward spiral progresses is another opportunity to relapse.  That is why it is so important to learn to recognize the triggers and affects of the spiral.  If you can catch them, you have a better chance of stopping them.

Woman with dogs walking on a beach

The tools and ideals you learn from our licensed therapy team at Beginnings Treatment Centers will help you to recognize and deal with the triggers before they spiral out of control.  This is what makes is a true Dual Diagnosis treatment center.  We will treat you for the substance abuse issue, but we will also identify and address the mental health or trauma-based issues you may have, the very root of substance abuse, really giving you every chance at a safe and sober life.