The Relationship Between Alcohol and Depression
Alcoholism is also known as alcohol use disorder. It is characterized by a person’s inability to control their own drinking habits.
Alcohol Rehab and Depression, Does Rehabilitation Treat Depression?, How Long Does Alcohol-Induced Depression Last?, Is Alcohol a Coping Mechanism for Depression?, Why is Alcohol a Bad Coping Mechanism?, Do True Feelings Come Out When Drunk?, Will My Mood Improve if I Stop Drinking?, Why Do I Cry When Drunk?, What is Emotional Rehabilitation?, What Actually Causes Depression?, What Mental Illness Does Alcohol Cause?, Rehab Is Your Best Chance
Alcoholism and depression are among the most common diagnoses in the US. But more interestingly, these two conditions commonly occur together. Therefore a person with depression is more likely to develop alcoholism, while those who struggle with alcoholism are more likely to develop depression.
These two conditions must be treated simultaneously as co-occurring disorders. It’s hard to address one problem without tackling the other.
If you or someone you love is dealing with either of these conditions, you need to seek professional help. That is why we are going to talk about these two conditions, as well as how treatment works for these co-occurring conditions. We will also talk about risk factors, as well as the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety so you know what to look out for.
Remember that even if you are struggling with depression, alcoholism, or both—you are not alone.
Millions of people in the US are dealing with the same problem, and proper treatment is necessary to keep these conditions under control. Let’s take a closer look at depression, alcoholism, and their relationship with one another.
Alcohol Rehab and Depression
Alcoholism is also known as alcohol use disorder. It is characterized by a person’s inability to control their own drinking habits. It is an addiction, and just like other types of addiction, it involves the compulsive need to take or consume the substance, even when the person is already suffering from its effects.
An alcoholic individual may have a distorted view of self. They may deny that they even have a drinking problem in the first place. In some cases, they are too preoccupied with drinking to realize that they are drinking too much.
Even when their health, career, relationships, and finances are already suffering, they will continue drinking. If they suddenly quit drinking, they may experience serious cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
It’s easy to see how a person with an alcohol use disorder can spiral into depression. Their behavior may also change, becoming more erratic or sometimes even violent.
On the other hand, depression is a mental health condition that impacts the way a person feels, thinks, and acts. It’s not just about being sad—although that is one part of it. It is characterized by feelings of sadness along with a sudden loss of interest in things and activities they used to enjoy. Depression decreases a person’s ability to function both at home and at work. On the other hand, just because you feel sad doesn’t automatically make you depressed.
Symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe. It includes changes in appetite, sudden weight loss or weight gain that is unrelated to diet, sadness, loss of interest in old hobbies and activities, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, lethargy, fatigue, suicidal ideation, and difficulty concentrating.
There are many types of depression including: major depression, psychotic depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder.
Depression is a serious medical illness, but it is also treatable. A person with depression may try to cope with their situation by drinking, and that may lead to alcohol use disorder. That is why addiction and mental health have an incredibly close relationship.
Does Rehabilitation Treat Depression?
A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that about 300 million people in the world suffer from depression. Unfortunately, because of the stigma surrounding it, it is not discussed properly and most people don’t receive proper help for it.
When a person goes into rehab for an addiction, they will most likely receive help for any co-occurring disorders as well, and that includes depression. This is because treating mental health conditions and other underlying problems is an important part of ensuring long term sobriety for an addicted individual.
For those with a serious case of depression, long term residential treatment can go a long way. In rehab, they can receive the proper care they need, both in the form of counseling and medications.
Rehab programs have a number of benefits for depressed individuals. Rehab provides holistic treatment, which means it tackles every aspect of the person’s situation, including their mind, body, emotions, relationships, etc. This can help the person make necessary lifestyle changes that will support their long term recovery.
Rehab can teach people how to live happy, meaningful, and productive lives, all while staying away from harmful substances such as alcohol.
A rehab program can help people with depression to communicate their emotions properly to those around them as well as how to handle those emotions in a healthy way. They will also pick up effective coping mechanisms that will be applicable to them once they leave rehab and have to face the pressures of everyday life once again.
A combination of therapy, counseling, and medications can help a person deal with depression.
Rehab is important because it tackles the main issues that cause depression, from childhood trauma to substance abuse. It helps people process these events and situations so they can respond properly and heal themselves.
Not only can medical professionals help alleviate a depressive episode, they can also equip you with the tools you need to prevent future relapses. At the end of the day, depression is a treatable condition. With the help of rehab, you will gain more confidence, become more active at work, and feel a sense of relief as you learn new coping skills to manage your depression. It is important for depressed individuals to receive proper support. Seek proper medical treatment for your depression today.
How Long Does Alcohol-Induced Depression Last?
Alcoholism and depression can affect people in different ways. That is why the duration of alcohol-induced depression can also vary widely from one person to another.
Generally speaking, however, symptoms of depression that are connected to alcohol use disorder may gradually disappear over time. Depressive symptoms may improve significantly after a period of sobriety or abstaining from alcohol. Usually, the symptoms may improve after three to four weeks of abstaining from alcohol.
However, research shows that it is possible for alcohol-induced depression to turn into independent depression if the symptoms persist even after cessation of alcohol or drug abuse.
Don’t lose hope if your symptoms persist. Seek treatment for depression to keep the symptoms under control.
Is Alcohol a Coping Mechanism for Depression?
Because alcohol slows down the central nervous system, it can give people feelings of euphoria and relaxation. For this reason, some people with depression use alcohol to cope with their stress and feelings of sadness.
Alcohol also reduces inhibition, and affects both memory and judgment. On paper, it should help individuals cope with depression by distancing them from the negative feelings they are dealing with. However, this is not a good way to cope with mental health conditions like depression because it has a negative impact on the body.
Alcohol has become a coping mechanism for people who don’t know how to or don’t want to handle the stressful situations in their lives. It has become a common practice for people wanting to avoid stress. People from all walks of life use alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism: from students to entrepreneurs to veterans.
Those with a family history of alcoholism are at a greater risk of using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Alcoholism has a genetic factor. It also has an environmental factor, meaning people with alcoholic relatives are more likely to see drinking as a normal coping mechanism for stress and depression.
But continued avoidance of life’s challenges will prevent the person from embracing positive changes. It will only make their situation worse in the long run. It can even lead to problematic drinking habits, which only worsens the problem.
Why is Alcohol a Bad Coping Mechanism?
Social drinking is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the person knows how to drink in moderation. But when someone begins to abuse alcohol and drink outside of social situations, it becomes an unhealthy habit. They develop a tolerance for alcohol, which means they need to drink more just to experience the same effects. Eventually, they become alcohol dependent. They can no longer function normally or “feel normal” without drinking. If they try to quit, they go through withdrawal and experience intense cravings. Common withdrawal symptoms include headaches, tremors, insomnia, sweating, etc. In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can even be fatal.
Whether or not addiction runs in your family, if you use alcohol as a coping mechanism, it is possible for you to get addicted. The risk is higher the longer you drink. With all the adverse health effects caused by addiction, using alcohol as a coping mechanism is simply not worth it.
Alcohol abuse also affects a person’s relationships. It doesn’t just hurt them—it hurts the people around them, particularly their loved ones. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism changes a person’s behavior, making them more prone to making bad decisions and hurting the people that care about them. Alcohol creates a distance between loved ones. Since it lowers inhibitions and affects judgment, alcohol can even fuel anger and irresponsible behavior.
While depression is difficult to deal with, it is important for depressed individuals to learn healthy coping mechanisms. That is what rehab is for. It provides healthy alternatives that not only help address the underlying problems, but also make the person healthier and happier in the process.
Examples of healthy coping mechanisms include exercise, practicing mindfulness, developing close interpersonal relationships, and finding new fulfilling hobbies. Seeking help from a mental health professional is an important step in dealing with depression.
Do True Feelings Come Out When Drunk?
Alcohol can make people behave differently than they normally would because drinking reduces a person’s inhibitions. So people often wonder if alcohol also affects the things people say when they are under the influence of alcohol. Is alcohol a form of truth serum? Can drunken words be considered sober thoughts?
They say the truth comes out when you’re drunk. And according to addiction specialists and psychologists, there is a surprising accuracy to this commonly-believed notion. They say this statement is more accurate than you may think.
Published research shows that alcohol reduces inhibitions and this affects the things people say the same way it affects the things that they do. Human responses become increasingly primitive as blood alcohol levels climb.
Researchers have shown that alcohol consumption does not prevent self-control. However, it does make people care less about the consequences of their words and actions while drunk.
The brain’s neocortex normally evaluates situations and makes decisions. But under the influence of alcohol, this feature no longer works properly. The intoxicated individual therefore exhibits disturbing changes in their behavior.
While drunk people are aware they are making mistakes because of their alcohol consumption, they also don’t care as much about the consequences. And because alcohol affects a person’s reasoning skills, they are more likely to tell the truth. They end up saying brutally honest and unfiltered opinions. Alcohol can give people the courage to say things they normally wouldn’t.
Psychologists believe that people need to be held accountable for what they say when they are drunk as well as sober. Therefore alcohol is no longer a valid excuse for irresponsible behavior.
For some people who are struggling with alcoholism, a public meltdown can be considered their “rock bottom”, which may motivate them to seek professional treatment. So there is a silver lining to this situation.
Will My Mood Improve if I Stop Drinking?
When you first stop drinking, you may struggle with regulating your mood. After all, long term alcohol abuse has many effects on a person’s brain. So an alcohol dependent individual may suffer from mood swings and other effects on their mental health. This is part of the body’s healing process, as it learns to adjust to the alcohol-free lifestyle.
As your body heals, so does your mind, and eventually you will regain your motivation to live a healthy and happy life. Your mood will improve and you will be motivated to take care of yourself through proper diet and regular exercise. The less time you spend on alcohol, the more time you will have for healthy activities that are good for your body. You will also have more time on hobbies and interests, and other fulfilling activities.
So even though the early days of sobriety may be a struggle, it is worth all the hard work. You will not only improve your mood but also gain a heightened motivation towards positive goals.
Why Do I Cry When Drunk?
People respond to alcohol in different ways. But it does worsen people’s emotions, which may be the reason why some people cry when they are intoxicated. It is normal to be in a bad mood after a night of drinking and partying because it can leave you feeling exhausted. However, these feelings can also worsen any underlying mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Alcohol use magnifies the emotional intensity of these conditions. This is why when people wake up the next morning with a hangover, they are still feeling terrible.
Alcohol not only affects your behavior, but also the way you think. Alcohol influences your rational thinking, which lessens your inhibition and affects your mood. In fact, alcohol abuse can cause long-term depression.
Although alcohol is sometimes referred to as “liquid courage”, these effects are short-lived, and the person is left with the consequences of their actions, which makes them feel bad afterwards.
What is Emotional Rehabilitation?
Emotional rehabilitation involves strengthening a person’s inner ability to deal with loss, grief, or significant changes. This method uses various strategies to help the individual return to a healthy state of being.
While physical health is a top priority for most people, emotional health isn’t always given the attention it needs, and this leads to bigger problems. In fact, even physical illness causes emotional reactions such as anger, shock, fear, worry, denial, or acceptance. In most cases, a medical problem has a number of underlying emotions. This is why it is important to address these feelings with the same level of importance.
Rehab is a form of therapy that aims to return a person to their prior level of functioning. Emotional rehab aims to restore a person’s emotional state and help them manage their emotions better. It strengthens a person’s ability to cope with loss and other big changes in their lives.
Some situations are too painful to deal with, and so even with proper coping mechanisms it is hard to move on. But emotional rehab allows the person to process the situation in a natural and healthy way so it doesn’t lead to self-destructive behavior.
What Actually Causes Depression?
There are many possible causes of clinical depression, and that’s one of the reasons why it is such a complex disease. In fact, a person may go through different situations that can factor into their depression.
Some people get depressed during a serious medical illness, while others go through depression after the death of a loved one. A family history of depression can also make a person more susceptible to the condition.
There are certain factors and situations that can increase an individual’s chances of developing depression. This includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse.
Age is another factor for depression, with elderly people having a higher risk of depression. It can be made worse by other factors like a lack of social support or living alone. Loss and grief following the death of a loved one can increase the risk of depression despite being a natural part of life. Similarly, conflict with friends, family, and loved ones can contribute to depression.
Women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed later in life. There is also a genetic and environmental factor that influences the development of addiction. Depression in women is more common than in men, although men may also struggle with major depressive disorder.
Certain medications can increase your risk of depression, including corticosteroids, isotretinoin, etc.
Other factors include: personal problems, financial problems, serious illness or injury, and major events like starting a new job, graduating, moving to a new home, getting married, getting divorced, or retiring. All of these can be very stressful.
Finally, one particular cause of depression that shouldn’t be left out of this list is substance abuse. We’ve covered how alcohol abuse can lead to depression and vice versa. The same goes for drug abuse and addiction, which can lead to a number of mental health conditions including depression.
If you think your loved one may be struggling with a major depressive disorder, watch out for common warning signs such as isolation, losing interest in old activities they used to enjoy, suicidal ideation, depressed mood, and eating disorders.
What Mental Illness Does Alcohol Cause?
Alcohol abuse is linked to a number of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and even psychosis. Regular heavy drinking exposes the person to a greater risk of developing these conditions or making the problem worse.
Despite alcohol’s short term positive impact on a person’s mood, the long term effects on their mental health are serious. Alcoholism is even linked to memory loss and in some cases, suicide. This is because alcohol affects our brain chemistry. It disrupts the brain’s thoughts and feelings—it even impacts a person’s behavior. This leaves a significant impact on the person’s mental health.
For someone with anxiety, drinking may help them feel at ease for a little while, but as we have established, this feeling is short-lived. The euphoria eventually dissipates and it leaves the person feeling bad about themselves. This is because alcohol doesn’t actually eliminate anxiety; it only masks it for a while. As alcohol abuse continues, the person becomes more tolerant, and soon they have to drink more just to get the same effects.
They may also suffer from other psychological symptoms in the process, becoming more anxious or agitated.
Alcohol is also linked to self-harm, suicide, and in some cases, psychosis. They may lose their inhibitions to the point where they may harm themselves. Drinking heavily and having suicidal thoughts are also closely linked to one another.
Extreme levels of drinking can occasionally lead to psychosis. This is a severe mental condition that is characterized by hallucinations and delusions.
We have also covered how alcohol abuse and addiction can cause a major depressive disorder.
These are some of the most important things you need to know about depression, alcohol abuse, and treatment. There are still more to find out, and it’s best to learn these things from a medical professional in a rehab facility as you go through your journey to sobriety. Talk to your doctor about your medical condition and find out more about effective treatment options.
Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today and get help for yourself or for your loved one.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.