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fall seasons woman walking

Do the Seasons Affect Addiction?

Seasons may have a role in substance use patterns. Anecdotally, many people who have addiction issues will tell you winter is hard for them. They may have used drugs a lot more often during the winter season or holidays. Is this only in your head, or is there a science behind it?

Seasonal Affective Disorder’s Role

In the darker months, we’re less likely to be upbeat and cheerful. For one thing, humans get a lot less sun than we used to. Studies show that a lack of Vitamin D can lead to depression. And in the winter, everyone needs a little more Vitamin D.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also affects as many as 4-6% of the population, according to American Family Physician.  These people experience a “winter depression” almost like clockwork every year when we begin to have less daylight. Their depression subsides when the spring season begins and should be resolved entirely after Daylight Savings Time. Some people who experience SAD also have other mental health disorders. The depression may not go away for them but may lessen during the darker seasons.

Recognizing Depression

People who are depressed may have the following symptoms:

  • Using substances like drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings.
  • Less interest in going out, spending time with others.
  • Just wanting to “be alone.”
  • May take less care about their appearance or neglect their health.
  • Fatigue, or a change in sleep patterns. (Insomnia or sleeping a lot.)
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless.
  • Not talking a lot, being quick to tears when talking.
  • Isolating and not returning phone calls or texts.
  • Eating much more or less than usual.

If you or somebody you know experiences depression during the winter seasons, there’s help available. Many people in sobriety stay sober and strong by treating their mental health and physical health.

People in sobriety often get depressed during the holidays, too. It’s normal to have a feeling of sadness or loss around the holidays. This is especially true for anyone who is newly sober. Many people describe feelings regret or shame during the holidays. Your feelings may be very raw when you’re first sober, but they will pass.

Speaking with a therapist, getting more exercise, and even sitting in front of a sun lamp every morning can help you treat SAD. However, if these methods don’t work, you should ask a medical professional for help.

Getting Help

If you or somebody you know has an alcohol or drug problem, help is available. If you’re coping with a mental health disorder, we’re here to help with that too. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit is part of the journey of recovery. Give us a call to learn about how we can help at 855-631-2548.

dual diagnosis

Understanding Attachment Issues and Disorders

Many people who are recovering from addiction have unresolved issues such as trauma or mental health disorders. One of these types of disorders, called attachment disorder, is used to describe people who have difficulty connecting with others and forming friendships and relationships with them. For most people, an attachment disorder develops as a baby or child, when they had trouble connecting with their mother, father, or other caregivers for a variety of reasons.

Attachment disorders are a genuine problem that can affect people throughout their life, causing them problems in their daily lives because of the dysfunctional relationships that they can cause.

Many people who have a problem with addiction or other mental health disorders have attachment issues. Finding a way to have healthier relationships helps people begin to heal from them.

What Causes an Attachment Disorder?

Just like some other mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress, an attachment disorder can often stem way back to childhood. Some people who experience it may have experienced neglect or abuse, but this is not always the case.

An attachment disorder may form for other reasons, such as trauma or environmental issues. For example, a child with a single parent may have to work long hours and have little time to spend with them daily.

Why Do People Develop Attachment Issues?

Children from birth to adulthood, are dependent on their guardians to help provide for them. Babies will cry or hold on tight to their parents when they’re scared or in need of attention. They will cry when they need a diaper change or are hungry. If the parent or caregivers don’t react to a baby or meet their emotional needs, there may be trouble with forming attachments. These issues can continue throughout life.

Eventually, these behaviors can translate to social skills for children, and then later in adults. Some people have trouble growing into new actions as adults because their needs went unmet as children.

Therapy or treatment can help a person begin to heal from attachment problems and form healthier relationships. Everyone deserves to have healthy, fulfilling relationships, but when a person suffers from attachment issues, they may have trouble understanding what that entails.

Many people in recovery from addiction have attachment issues to a certain extent. Addiction is a lonely disease, and many people self-medicate out of loneliness or to numb the pain of their dysfunctional relationships.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love suffers from addiction, you’re not alone. You deserve to take your life back and begin healing from the pain of addiction. We help people from all walks of life begin the journey to recovery. Learn more about our programs and how we can help by calling us at (855) 409-8869.