I understand that the interrelationship between alcohol and depression is gaining strength; the stronger it becomes, the more the chances of winning the war against depression reduces. Depression is producing more alcohol addicts almost every time. Like me, many people start drinking as a way out of their depressive states and traumatic experiences such as loss of loved ones, stress, loneliness, or bullying.
Unknowingly, the act of drinking becomes a habit until one becomes a “depression alcoholic.” This happens when the alcohol dependence has grown to a point where one desperately needs to drink more to combat the depression, which also keeps getting worse. At that stage, the best course of action is to enroll for professional addiction treatment.
Effects of Alcohol on Depression
I would say that the combination of drinking and depression is the worst. Alcohol is a depressant, and when used while one is undergoing depression, it reduces the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. Hence, drinking to lift depression is counter-productive because, in reality, it will only worsen the situation. Depressed people who drink alcohol become more likely to commit suicide – intentionally or by engaging in silly and dangerous acts.
Alcohol depression reduces inhibitions; therefore, we can quickly try things we wouldn’t normally do while sober, such as intentional self-harm or drunk-driving (like I did). Additionally, the high from depression alcohol drinking only lasts a little while until the depression comes back worse. It further stresses the futility of the act because the reward does not match the risk and dangers involved.
Signs of Depression and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism and depression have a lot of things in common, so one can get confused, trying to differentiate the effects of each. From my experience, I gathered that long-term drinking affects the central nervous system, which replicates the symptoms of depression. Hence, it gets to a point where one begins to exhibit those symptoms irrespective of their state of sobriety.
Some of the symptoms of alcoholic depression are outlined below:
- Restlessness and insomnia
- Suicide thoughts
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Loss of interest in hobbies and withdrawal from social events
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Prioritizing alcohol drinking
- Loss of interest in work-related activities and productivity
- A tendency to break the rules and laws and many more
Summarily, drinking alcohol for depression is counter-productive and leads to more evil than good. Anyone at the stage of dependence or exhibiting symptoms is advised to seek professional help quickly.
Alcohol and depression Treatment
Depression rehab centers generally concentrate their efforts at unveiling the cause of the depression and how best one can manage them to live a healthy and normal life.
In my case, when I sought medical help after my accident, I received a dual diagnosis i.e, I was diagnosed with my alcohol addiction and depression. Thankfully, there are many rehabilitation centers for depression where one can get proper alcohol and depression treatment.
The process of rehab starts with the detoxification of alcohol in your body. Herbal detox from alcohol may de milder but loger, medical detox can be agonizing – especially for addicts – but it is needed to wean the body off the substance, and works faster. As an alcoholic depression patient, there was a customized care plan designed for my alcohol and mental health treatment which included the following:
- depression and alcohol medications
- light-sound neuropathy
- eye movement desensitization
The treatments were aimed at dealing with each condition simultaneously to help alleviate the pain. Depression and alcohol are never a good combination, and the timeliness in seeking help could be the difference that helps to save a life.