Is Self-Efficacy Related to Depression and Anxiety in Recovery?

woman hugging self

When it comes to substance abuse recovery, depression and anxiety may play a constructive role in a person’s recovery process. Physically, the body will enter detoxification, a natural process by which the body expels toxins acquired from the substance use. This can easily lead to a person developing symptoms of depression and anxiety, as the brain is no longer receiving an influx of dopamine from excessive consumption. Emotionally, a person may experience symptoms of depression and anxiety as they’re attempting to adjust to their new life in recovery – even for those in recovery for quite some time, upsetting events can trigger emotional responses which can lead to a depression and anxiety disorder if the tools learned in their program are not practiced.

Self-efficacy is explained as a person’s perceived ability to complete certain activities or engage in certain behaviors; self-efficacy is incredibly important in recovery, because oftentimes our thinking becomes our doing. This is like the popular phrase,

If you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can’t, you can’t.”

A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when we force a limit upon ourselves – we already have our mind made up that we can only go so far, that we can only improve so much, or that we can only be so happy. This type of thinking is negative and truly does limit us – which is where self-efficacy comes in. A 2016 study published in the Community Mental Health Journal investigated hope and abstinence self-efficacy to see if it was related to depression and anxiety in substance abuse recovery. Five hundred and seven participants who were taking part in sober-living homes completed many assessments on the topics of self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety. The study’s findings revealed that both hope and the belief that one can remain abstinent have considerable influence on the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms they experience.

Consider the ways you’ve been thinking about your abilities in recovery. Reflect on the ways its impacted your further thinking, actions, and attitudes about your recovery:

  • Do you believe that recovery is impossible for you, or completely possible?
  • Do you believe that you will never be able to reach your goals, or that with enough hard work and determination, you will achieve your goals and more?
  • Do you have hope for a better future, or do you shrug in despair?

Choose to be positive. Choose to have faith in your capabilities. Choose recovery. You’ll be amazed at what you find you’re capable of.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.