It is normal to feel sad or down once in a while but when this persists for a long period of time without feeling better, this becomes depression. Sometimes, it is accompanied by performing inappropriate or even acts as dangerous and harmful as suicide. Depression is a medical condition that affects the state of one’s mind. This is a very serious sickness, as if not treated and managed early enough.
Often, it could be as a result of alcoholism or an already existing situation of depression can be worsened by excessive alcohol use and dependence. This may start to affect not only the person involved but also the people around the individual such as friends, family or even colleagues at workplaces.
In a report given by the national bureau of economic research, it was discovered that people diagnosed with one form of mental illnesses or the other have at a certain time in their life drank two-thirds of the nation’s alcohol. This comes to show the connection between depression and alcohol abuse. The challenge with their relationship is bi-directional as most individuals that abuse alcohol becomes depressed and some people suffering from depression consume and abuse alcohol to feel better.
This does not really solve the problem as it only complicates it and keeps the person dependent. When people suffer from depression they lose interest in going out to places, they feel alone and neglected, they may have loss of appetite, they may also present with low attention span. Some may have difficulty in sleeping as well, which will deprive the body of adequate rest and cause low energy in the day. The above mentioned signs are the symptoms that could be observed in a depressed person
How Alcohol Causes Depression
The cycle of alcohol and depression is sad when one looks at it. This is because most people that consume alcohol get dependent on it to relax and reduce their anxiety. There is really a thin line between relaxed and depressed when it comes to taking alcohol. So, the sad situation is that most people tend to take alcohol in order to get out of depressive moods but unfortunately, their dependence on alcohol to get out of this state further dampens their state of mind and keeps them further depressed. Leading cases of addiction and depression, their situation just keeps getting grave and graver. Let it be said quickly that there’s a wide difference between someone that is grieving and someone who is depressed. Bereaved people still have their self-confidence and self-esteem intact normally but people that are already depressed tend to feel worthless and indulge in self-loathing.
Therefore, the rat race of the continuous alcohol intervention for depression keeps going and leading to further complications. Obviously, a pint of beer or a glass of wine doesn’t do this much harm, but when it becomes a habit not just recreationally but for the sole purpose of feeling good and having a better mood, then one needs to seek urgent help. Too much of alcohol affects the nervous system and if it is not controlled it becomes a critical situation which can lead to brain damage.
There are other factors that may be responsible for alcohol abuse and depression. Some of these factors could be genetic or environmental related. Studies carried on people that are twins have shown that these traits run in the family 70 percent of the time. Therefore, one needs to watch out if one has a parent or siblings who had or have problems with alcohol or depression has there is a chance if proper measures are not taken, one is likely to fall in the same predicament. However, the getting in and out of depression which is very common is extremely addictive, continuous and hazardous to one’s health.
Depression and Alcoholism Treatment
Combatting alcohol abuse requires proper management. This is due to withdrawal symptoms that may follow a sudden cessation of taking alcohol and some of these symptoms could really be dangerous to the health of the person. Medical supervision is extremely important and not to be taken for granted, as most of these patients really get desperate and tries their best to mask the pain they feel in their depressed state.
There are effective treatments designed for combatting depression and alcohol abuse. There are a wide array of antidepressants prescribed for the treatment of depression. There also other treatments for to reduce alcohol cravings. Although, research and experience have shown other ways to deal with depression. Such ways avoid the use of drugs and medications. They include counseling, support groups, exercising and so many other therapeutic ways. This approach seems to be more practical and effective, as they focus on the root problems.
Antidepressants work in a way to modify the brain’s chemistry and mechanism, this is done to stabilize the mood of the person and make the person less susceptible to feeling low and down. The drugs tend to improve the serotonin levels to boost a good mood. The good thing about the medication used in treating depression is that they are not addictive. This is of great advantage as most people that are fighting alcohol abuse tends to abuse other substances and drugs, which eventually lead to addiction, but as the drugs cannot be addictive they are well protected and will get improvements over time.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the ways that effectively treats depression and when it is combined with antidepressants gives a great improvement both in lifestyle and the state of the mind. CBT has it is often referred to, helps individuals to change their way of thinking and behavior. This is particularly helpful has it assists these individuals in dealing with a similar situation in a better-equipped manner.
Other things that could be done to improve this situation apart from just medications or in conjunction with medications for enhanced results include exercise, meditation, starting new activities, volunteering among other things. A more effective way can also be going for proper rehabilitation which will include a couple of the already listed ways above.
Can Alcohol Induce Depression?. American Addiction Centers. Retrieved 31 January 2018, from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/depression/
Parekh, R. (2017). What Is Depression?. Psychiatry.org. Retrieved 31 January 2018, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
Robinson, J. (2016). Alcohol and Depression. WebMD. Retrieved 31 January 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/alcohol-and-depresssion#2