Depression and Alcohol Abuse
Drinking once in a blue moon to numb the pain of a certain situation going wrong in life is not something that should be worried about. Everyone should be allowed to have a drink or two after a break up, loss of job, being stressed out, etc. to relax and relieve some anxiety. The problem of alcoholism occurs when someone decides drinking every once in awhile isn’t enough, and they begin to use alcohol to cope with every day life.
Crossing the line from casually using to abuse of alcohol can lead to many other disorders forming or heightening existing disorders. Because of this, dual-diagnosis of depression alongside alcoholism is very common. Already present depression can increase an individual’s desire to use substances, especially alcohol, to cope with their mood swings and thoughts, as well.
Individuals who struggle with both alcohol abuse and depression lead a very stressful lifestyle, and those willing to acknowledge their disorders have a long road to recovery. Thankfully at Crest View we have many options for alcohol abuse and depression treatment that have proven successful to past patients.
What is Depression and Who Does it Affect?
Depression is a mental disorder that changes the way someone thinks, acts and feels. It affects an individual’s hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex areas of the brain and causes negative feelings and thoughts by raising cortisol levels.
Approximately 14.8 million American adults, one in eight teens and one in 33 children suffer from depression every year. That averages about 6.7% of all American citizens.
Different Types of Depression
There are seven common types of depression that can affect an individual so severely that they can require treatment to help understand and overcome the disorder. Those types include:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): this is what licensed professionals deem “clinical depression.”
- Postpartum Depression: Because pregnancy hormones are so different than regular hormones women experience on a daily basis, they can affect a woman’s mental health to the point of severe confusion and hallucination.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Depression, sleepiness and weight gain that occurs during months of cold weather but then goes away once the weather becomes warmer outside.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PMDD): Also known as dysthymia, this disorder means individual experiences more “depressed days” than normal days during a 2 year period.
- Bipolar Disorder: A mood disorder characterized by periods of “mania.” Individuals who suffer from this disorder can experience happiness one minute and rage the next with no explanation.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Severe versions of premenstrual syndrome symptoms like mood swings and food cravings.
- Atypical Depression: Depression that is unpredictable. Individuals may experience this type of depression until a positive event in their life is approaching and then the symptoms will go away.
Symptoms of Depression
If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from a depression disorder, our team at Crest View will help you identify which disorder correctly fits your symptoms. Some of the telltale symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Intense sadness
- Low self-esteem
- Guilt or shame
- Lack of energy
- Lack of motivation
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Difficulty with focus or concentration
- Sleeping problems (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
- Changes in appetite (causing weight fluctuations)
Depression can cause serious feelings of doubt and guilt because of the way someone struggling with the disorder feels. Individuals who suffer from depression struggle with realizing that their disorder is not their fault. More times than not, depression come from outside sources and situations that have affected a person’s mental stability instead of something they have inflicted on themselves.
In order to come to terms with their emotions and thoughts, some depressed individuals choose to acknowledge their disorders and seek professional help and medication. Although this is the healthy way to deal with depression, some individuals choose a different path.
It is very possible someone will use substances like alcohol to help numb the pain and confusion they feel. Because of this, they will often times become addicted to the alcohol and require it in every day life.
Depression and Alcohol Abuse: Which One Comes First?
Alcohol abuse and depression more often than not go hand in hand. Depression can lead to alcohol abuse and alcoholism can lead to depression. It will depend on the situation an individual may be facing. Whether the alcohol abuse or depression starts first, both disorders co-occurring with each other has major effects on a person’s life.
Alcohol “helps” with depression by sedating the effected person’s emotions and allowing them to forget how they’re feeling while under the influence. The effect the alcohol gives eventually wears off, which is why daily use starts.
If alcoholism comes first from the two, the constant use of the alcohol can start to have negative effects on someone’s physical and mental health. The consistent drunkenness a person experiences will start to change the way they think. Abusive alcohol consumption usually causes weight gain, fatigue and loss of motivation. Because of this, it is very common for alcoholics to develop negative feelings towards themselves and is usually how the depression starts to develop.
Dual Diagnosis: Treatment for Addiction and Depression
Depression can cause excessive drinking and excessive drinking can cause depression. Whatever your specific case may be, at Crest View we have plenty of resources to help you regain a stable mentality and lifestyle. We offer group meetings, recreational therapy, nutrition counseling, relapse prevention and many other treatments that have been proven to help our patients develop healthier habits to take with them after rehab. We know the road to recovery can be difficult, but we are here to help you understand you do not have to travel it alone.
If you or someone you know has been suffering from depression and alcoholism, know that we are there to help. Contact our team at Crest View Recovery Center to learn about our men and women’s alcohol rehabilitation programs. Call (866) 327-2505 today.