Depression and alcohol tend to go hand in hand in many situations. Those that feel down and are looking for ways to make themselves feel better may turn to alcohol whether they are just trying to interact socially or trying to self-medicate. On the same note, alcohol is a downer and therefore, may not always be very effective as a self-medication to help with depression.
Depression and Alcohol Abuse
Depression is an illness that plagues Americans more and more every day. Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression as they tend to focus more on negative emotional aspects of circumstances rather than finding ways to distract themselves.
While there are effective ways to treat depression with the help of various medications, some begin to turn to self-medicating with alcohol. This can turn bad quickly if the person begins to drink more often than they should. What they will find is that the alcohol tends to numb their feelings and emotions. They may begin to drink more and more to help relieve the depressing feelings that tend to come back as the alcohol wears off. This is how alcoholism begins.
While some choose to treat their depression with alcohol, others find that the alcohol causes them to get depressed. Research studies have found that alcoholics tend to have depressive symptoms, and yet if they stop drinking, only five percent of them will still show depression diagnostic criteria after a few weeks.
Whether or not alcohol precedes or follows the mood changes, the bottom line is that alcohol does affect the brain chemistry and not always for the better. Self-medicating with alcohol can only lead to bigger problems that are far worse in the end than just dealing with the depression would have been. Alcoholism can also cause sexual and emotional difficulties which can also add to the cycle of depression leading to more drinking.
Depression Treatment and Alcohol Abuse Recovery
Alcohol dependency causes many problems, many of which affect the family and friends of the alcoholic more than it affects the alcoholic. Alcoholism destroys the lives of millions every day. It is a life threatening and dangerous way to live. There is hope beyond the alcohol. With help from professional counselors and therapists, you can experience the relief and freedom of a life that is free from the restraints of alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one needs help for depression and alcohol abuse, please call us for help.