image of an upset teenager girl

Relapse may be something to be feared when undergoing a recovery process. If you’re trying to recover from any substance abuse, you’ll experience temptations. If you’re too weak to fight these demons, then you may fall into relapse.

Relapses may occur in three ways. You can experience three stages: emotional, mental, or physical relapse.

Emotional Relapse

The emotional stage occurs when your emotions consume and weaken you.

Some signs of emotional relapse include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Defensiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Isolation
  • Poor appetite

These signs are typically observed in patients struggling with post-acute withdrawal. Intervention must be done while it’s still early. Tolerating these signs will make them stronger, and it’ll be harder for you to pull back.

How do you prevent emotional relapse?

The way to deal with this early stage of relapse is to take care of yourself. Discipline yourself and be determined to succeed in your recovery. Keep away from possible triggers and keep an optimistic view about life. If you need company, find people who encourage and support you, rather than be with those people who’ll only ruin your ultimate goal.

Mental Relapse

The mental stage of relapse happens when you have a constant battle going on inside your head. You slightly give in to temptations and may start thinking of going back to using your substance of abuse.

Some signs of mental relapse include:

  • Thoughts on past experiences related to drug usage
  • Fantasizing about using any of your substance of abuse
  • Pondering about times when you were still addicted to abusive substances
  • Lying and being in denial
  • Hanging out with addicts

How do you prevent mental relapse?

You may find it hard to deal with the situation when the urges become stronger. Here are a few tips on how to deal with mental relapse:

Talk it out! Go to any relative or family member. Maybe they can give you the moral support you need to fight these urges. You can go to an expert and ask for advice.

Distract yourself! The best way to keep your brain working right is to not give in to bad mental urges. Do social activities, exercises, and household chores to keep your mind clear of negative thoughts.

Another tip that can help you free yourself, aside from distracting yourself, is to wait for at least 20 minutes. Cravings usually last for about 20 minutes.

Think before you do! In everything you do, it’s always better to play the tape through. Think of all the consequences that might arise if you fall into relapse. Remind yourself of the bad experiences that you’ve encountered in the past.

Relax! When you’re in your recovery process, try to incorporate relaxation exercises. Or treat yourself to therapeutic sessions. These activities will help make you feel calmer. Your mind will be clear of these bad thoughts, and you can perform tasks better.

Physical Relapse

If you don’t try performing these tips to prevent relapse, you may fail in your goal of recovery. Mental urges can become stronger and stronger every day. Doing nothing can possibly lead you to physical substance abuse relapse. You can become very weak, and it’ll be difficult to make the right choices. The strong urges will pull you back to using your substance of abuse.

Stopping the process of relapse at this point is hard. You should make your best efforts to recover. Be on alert! If you recognize that you’re suffering from early warning signs of relapse, try to heed this advice. Recovery always starts with you. Determination, perseverance, optimism, and sincerity are essential characteristics to achieve success.