While there’s nothing wrong with taking antidepressants in recovery, there are effective non-drug methods that you might want to try first.
In my case, since I’d never had an underlying mood disorder before my physical addiction to alcohol, I wanted to do everything I could to avoid becoming dependent on another drug.
I noticed that my cravings and downward mood swings were notably more intense during rainy days. After someone recommended a “sun lamp,” I decided to give this therapy a try.
I noticed a profound improvement in my mood in just a week, with just 20 minutes per morning spent with the lamp placed in my peripheral vision. I usually turned it on while I had breakfast and read a book. Although I don’t use the lamp on a daily basis anymore, I do use it every time I have to wake up before sunset or when it’s rainy outside.
I know from experience that there’s more going on here than a placebo effect, and a study in elderly patients found light therapy to be as effective as antidepressants for regulating mood. Unfortunately, like most highly effective yet simple and inexpensive treatments, light therapy hasn’t been heavily marketed.
While my recovery hasn’t always been rosy, I know it would have been much more difficult without a solid fitness routine and light therapy.