Because alcohol is a drug that is acceptable and is easy to get, many individuals decide to drink when they feel concerned or depressed, or are having trouble dealing with sleep. Using booze for many folks could be a means of self-medicating, but the effect is temporary, though booze can make you feel better in small doses.
The Downward Spiral of Melancholy and Alcoholism
“Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which implies that it slows down the body along with the mind. In moderate to substantial quantities, it may make someone depressed. If someone is already down, drinking alcohol is only going to boost the depression,” explains Richard Shadick, PhD, manager of the counseling centre and adjunct professor in the psychology department at Pace University in New York.
Apparent symptoms of Depression and Alcoholism
Based on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism is defined by the subsequent four symptoms:
- Craving: You are in possession of a powerful desire to drink.
- Inability to cease: You lose control of how much you drink.
- Withdrawal: You feel sick when you stop drinking.
- Endurance: You need more alcohol to get high.
Common symptoms of depression experienced by people who misuse alcohol contain intense despair or hopelessness. Other signals of depression include changes in sleep or hunger, irritability, guilt, worthlessness, loss of interest in things you once loved, and thoughts of suicide.
The Risks of Melancholy and Alcoholism
When depression occurs with alcoholism or substance abuse, it is called a “dual diagnosis.” The main danger of the double analysis is the fact that when depression and alcoholism are not treated, each illness makes the other worse. It is also very important to recognize and address both states, because without treating the other, treating one is not likely to work.
The best danger of depression and alcoholism is suicide. As stated by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the mixture of alcoholism and depression causes more than 75 percent of all suicides. “In some individuals with depression, there is a solid link between alcohol and suicide,” says Dr. Shadick. “For example, suicide deaths in college-aged people quite frequently involve alcohol abuse during the time of departure. It’s thought that alcohol impairs the depressed person’s capability to think clearly and they act impulsively on a want to die and end their continuing pain.”
Treatment of Depression and Alcoholism
The combination of alcoholism and depression is one of the very most costly illnesses affecting our health care system. A recent review of 44 controlled clinical trials regarding the utilization of antidepressant medications for treating alcoholism and depression was printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It concluded that antidepressant medications have advantages, but aren’t a stand alone treatment. The most effective treatment for alcoholism and depression is a mix of addiction treatment, medicine, and psychotherapy.
Particularly if you’ve had any thoughts of harming yourself, you must get help if you are fighting with alcoholism and depression. “There are highly successful forms of treatment for suicide, and any individual who feels suicidal should see a mental health professional as soon as you can,” encourages Shadick. Alcoholism and depression are a dangerous mix, but they are both highly treatable disorders and not moral weaknesses or character flaws.