Valentine’s Day Depression a Danger for People in Recovery

Published on February 9, 2016
Mountainside Canaan Aerial Shot

Canaan, CT—With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, loneliness and depression are common this time of year for anyone not in a relationship. But for those in addiction recovery, the blues over not finding a date can put them at serious risk for relapse.

Dr. Alkesh Patel, Mountainside’s Addiction Psychiatrist, says that with all of the daunting reminders to seek love and the fact that looking for love while in recovery is a major challenge, concern for relapse is heightened around Valentine’s Day. Here’s why:

  • It is difficult to find someone who is not only compatible with a sober lifestyle but also sensitive to the unique needs of a person in recovery.
  • Frustration and confusion over what are the most important qualities in a potential partner often leads to a detrimental emotional roller coaster for an individual in recovery.
  • Mounting doubt over whether or not a person in addiction recovery is at their healthiest point in recovery to even search for a relationship.

When seeking a relationship, Dr. Patel advises individuals in recovery to make sure they are first at a secure place in their recovery, which will make opening up and sharing their lives with someone much easier and more rewarding.

He also adds that it is imperative for sobriety to remain a priority that is never compromised by a setting or an individual. Even if a person in recovery chooses to seek out a potential partner who is also in addiction recovery, they must make sure that any budding relationship is a healthy one for the both of them. “Don’t rush into a relationship just because you want to experience being in love this time of the year,” says Dr. Patel. “Take your time to make sure the person you are interested in will be a benefit to your sobriety long-term.”