Overcoming addiction is very challenging, and those who succeed will need to maintain their sobriety for the rest of their lives. However, living a sober life can be difficult for those who had always relied on chemical substances to help them cope when things got tough. It is important for recovering addicts to learn how to deal with the stresses of everyday life without reaching for alcohol or drugs. Sober living is a constant struggle for recovering addicts, especially in the early days; unfortunately, though, many experience despair and contemplate suicide as they find it increasingly difficult to cope.
The Link Between Addiction and Suicide
Those who suffer from substance abuse problems are more likely to commit suicide than those who do not abuse chemical substances. With a direct link between addiction and mental health disorders such as anxiety and clinical depression, the risk of suicide among addicts is quite high. Those who suffer from mental health disorders often drink alcohol or take drugs to help them cope, which can make their condition worse.
Those who have addiction issues may feel as though they are beyond help. Some may believe that there is nothing that can be done for them and they feel as though their life is meaningless. Those who feel as though their situation is hopeless are more likely to see suicide as an easy way out. If they do not see any value in themselves or their lives, suicide can become an attractive option.
Why Many Recovering Addicts Contemplate Suicide
While suicide incidences are high among those struggling with addiction, it is also a problem for those in recovery. Below are a few reasons this is so:
- It is difficult for newly recovered individuals to cope with sober life. Knowing that they can no longer rely on chemical substances such as alcohol and drugs can be difficult, and unless they have mastered alternative coping strategies, they may find the early days very stressful.
- Recovering addicts who have contemplated or attempted suicide while addicted will be more likely to do so again.
- If a recovering addict is also dealing with a mental health disorder that has not been treated correctly, he or she may find it difficult to cope and could consider suicide if life gets too hard to handle.
- Emotions in recovery can be up and down, and some people experience extreme bouts of highs followed by intense lows. Suicidal thoughts are common during low periods where the individual may feel complete despair and hopelessness, and it may convince him or herself that life has no meaning.
The above are common problems related to recovery that can cause individuals to feel suicidal. Nevertheless, life can throw up a number of situations that can cause people to feel suicidal. The problem for recovering addicts is that they are emotionally fragile already and, when faced with situations such as the death of a loved one, financial troubles, marriage breakdown or being diagnosed with an illness, they might struggle to cope.
Spotting the Signs of Suicide
If you are worried that a loved one may be contemplating suicide, there are a number of signs to look for. These can include:
- giving away important possessions.
- talking about death
- being weepy
- wanting to be alone
- losing interest in activities
- being impulsive
- angry outbursts
- displaying reckless behaviour
- mood swings
- saying goodbye to loved ones as though for the last time
- being negative.
The above symptoms do not mean your loved one is definitely thinking about suicide, but displaying any of the above could indicate that his or her recovery is in danger. Call us here at Rehab Helper immediately if you are worried about a loved one in recovery.