Panic, anxiety, and depression are common experiences for men in their first year of recovery as the brain works hard to heal from the exhaustive effects of active addiction to substances. Drugs and alcohol interfere with the normal operation of many of the brain’s functions, including critical thinking, weighing the potential of negative consequences, and emotional regulation. The day that a man quits using drugs and alcohol is not the day that the brain heals. Healing the brain takes time, detox, and retraining. Throughout the first year to two years of recovery, men will experience a roller coaster of emotional experience as the brain balances out and recovers. Periods of anxiety and depression, as well as experiences of panic are common to experience. All too commonly, men receive diagnoses for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, or depressive disorders, and are given medication to minimize the symptoms. In some cases, medication can be necessary if a full diagnosis is present. In many cases, however, anxiety, depression, and panic are passing attempts of the mind to find equilibrium again. Men can practice a variety of healthy coping mechanisms to work through and manage their emotions during extreme phases of their mood. Likewise, men can learn how to adopt different ways of living which proactively balance their emotions, boost their emotional wellbeing, and contribute to their overall wellness. Rather than live in a need to anticipated reaction to the occasional bout of challenging emotional states, men can learn how to live in a way which reduces the likelihood or severity of difficult emotional experiences.
Science has repeatedly proven that fitness and exercise are extremely effective tools for combatting mood swings and reducing symptoms of difficult moods like anxiety and depression. Anecdotal evidence, in addition to scientific evidence, has also found that isolation is a strong factor in causing people to feel more anxious, more panicked, and more depressed. Recent research indicates that combining exercise and fitness with interacting with others can be an even more effective way to reduce anxiety, depression, and panic. NPR Shots reports on a study recently published in Lancet Psychiatry found that participating in team sports might be more effective than solo exercise. Using survey data on 1.2 million adults collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers analyzed numerous factors, most importantly including who exercised and who didn’t, as well as who played team sports and who didn’t. “…People who exercised reported fewer days of bad mental health than those who didn’t. And those who played team sports reported the fewest.”
At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California men learn to live and work and cooperate together. We believe in your ability to change. We know men struggling with addiction have the capacity to create transformative change in their lives, sustainably, building a sustainable sobriety and future. Call Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California today for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs: (855) 202-2138