Mental relapse is the second stage of relapse. This stage involves constant struggles with your mind. To be simple, a war is going on inside your mind during this stage where you struggle with thinking about abusing substances again. This may make it difficult to control your emotions or to make the right decisions regarding your addiction cravings.
Common signs of the mental relapse stage:
- Desire to spend time with old friends
- Constantly thinking about relapsing
- Fantasizing about substance use
- Planning your relapse
How to Avoid a Mental Relapse
It gets harder to make the right choices as the pull of addiction becomes stronger. However, there are several techniques you can follow to deal with mental relapse:
- Play the tape through. Imagine what the consequences of what will happen if you actually relapse. Is it worth it?
- Talk to a trusted friend. Express your thoughts and feelings with someone that you trust.
- Wait 30 minutes. Most urges usually last approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Try to keep yourself busy or distracted knowing the urge will go away.
- Take it one day at a time. Take time to focus on yourself. Work through things that you can control now. Try not to focus on the long term.
- Relaxation. Relaxation techniques help to reduce tension, irritability, cravings, anger, and anxiety. A relaxed state helps to make you more open to changes.
- Attend a meeting. Support groups exist to help you in your endeavors to stay in long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the warning signs of a mental relapse, know that there is help. Please reach out to a professional to seek help in your active recovery. Don’t let it get too far.