Emotional Relapse

Posted on: January 22, 2021 by in Addiction
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Relapse often happens in stages. The first stage of relapse is emotional relapse; this occurs when negative emotions and stress eventually lead a person to contemplate drinking or using drugs again. Relapse can often become a problem before any substances are actually taken. Those negative thoughts are starting to invade most of your healthy behaviors and the coping strategies you are using. The best thing you can do for yourself is to spot some of the warning signs so you can lower your risk of relapse.



Warning signs of emotional relapse:


  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Mood swings

  • Anger

  • Isolation

  • Breaking routine

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Refusing help


How to Avoid an Emotional Relapse


Avoiding triggers that are linked to your addiction can help you to lower your risk of relapse. Don't ignore the negative emotions. Find positive and healthy ways to move on. If you let those emotions get the better of you, you could enter the next stage of relapse. 


There are some preventative measures that you can take to prevent emotional relapse:



  1. Self-care. Stay on top of your mental, physical, and emotional wellness. Making sure to include even the smallest of activities, like exercise and sleep, can go a long way.

  2. Use your support system. You don't have to go through this alone. Reach out for help.

  3. Actively acknowledge your feelings.

  4. Practice higher self-awareness. 

  5. Don't suppress your feelings.

Pulling back from emotional relapse keeps you away from the next step-using again. By remaining vigilant and practicing awareness, you can act to safeguard your sobriety. 


Overcoming Relapse 


If you or a loved one are showing any of the warning signs associated with this stage, please know that you can reach out to a professional to ask for help. There are programs and guidance to help you get through this. You are not alone.


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