Alcohol and depression are often interconnected, regardless of which one comes before the other. Usually, depressed individuals resort to drinking as a coping mechanism, which in turn causes unhealthy substance dependency that has detrimental effects on both physical and mental health.
This blog explores the relationship between alcohol and depression, and how to achieve better mental health and sobriety.
5 Important Facts About Alcohol and Depression
It’s important to understand the connection between alcohol and depression to recognize the negative effects and risks of excessive alcohol consumption on your body. Here are five essential facts about depression and alcoholism.
1. Alcohol can worsen depression.
Depressed individuals drink alcohol as a means of self-medication, hoping to alleviate their symptoms. Alcohol affects the level of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which help in regulating mood. However, alcohol only provides temporary relief, and it can ultimately worsen your depression in the long run. When the initial effects wear off, it can lead to a rebound effect that increases the feelings of anxiety and depression.
2. Alcohol lessens the effects of antidepressants.
If you’re already taking antidepressants, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking when depressed lessens the effects of your antidepressant medication. Alcohol is a depressant and over consumption of it slows down your central nervous system’s functions. Side-effects include drowsiness, and impaired judgment and body coordination.
3. Drinking and depression lead to a vicious cycle of alcohol dependency.
As depression symptoms worsen, individuals may turn to alcohol more frequently, which increases the risk of alcohol dependency. Excessive alcohol use can also cause alcohol-induced depression, reinforcing the cycle of drinking and depression. This self-perpetuating cycle can be challenging to break. Seeking professional help and developing healthy coping mechanisms is crucial for managing depression symptoms and breaking the cycle of alcohol dependence.
4. Alcohol messes up the body’s hormones and chemicals.
Alcohol consumption has a significant impact on the endocrine system, which handles hormone production and regulation. Excessive alcohol can disrupt the production and release of testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol hormones—which leads to various issues like irregular menstrual cycle and infertility.
In addition, alcohol damages the liver, leading to hormonal imbalances that can negatively impact the body’s health.
5. Treating alcohol abuse can help in overcoming depression.
Overcoming depression can be challenging, especially when combined with alcohol abuse. Often, individuals who struggle with depression turn to alcohol to self-medicate and temporarily alleviate their symptoms.
Seeking treatment for alcohol abuse is vital for breaking this cycle and reducing the negative impact of alcohol on mental health. With proper support and resources, individuals can address their alcohol abuse and underlying depression, leading to a healthier and happier life.
Alcohol and Depression: How To Break the Cycle
Breaking the cycle of alcohol and depression requires a multifaceted approach, including seeking professional help and support, making lifestyle changes, and addressing underlying mental health issues. Below are three ways you can break the cycle.
1. Seek medication.
Medications can help manage uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, antidepressant medicines can regulate mood-boosting hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which alleviate symptoms of depression.
However, medications must be in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as therapy and support groups, to be more effective. It’s best to work with a medical professional to find the proper medication and dosage and monitor any potential side effects.
2. Get therapy.
Getting therapy for alcohol dependency depression is crucial in overcoming both conditions. Therapy offers a safe space for individuals to explore and address underlying mental health issues contributing to alcohol abuse and depression. It also helps to learn coping mechanisms and develop healthy behaviors to manage stress and emotions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective method for treating alcohol dependency and depression. CBT is effective in identifying negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to alcohol abuse and depression and replacing them with positive ones. Moreover, group therapy can provide a supportive and understanding environment where individuals can share their experiences and receive feedback and encouragement from others who are going through similar struggles.
3. Seek rehabilitation.
For severe cases, the best course of action for recovery is to seek rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to detox from alcohol. Most rehabilitation centers have various therapies and treatments that promote mindfulness such as counseling, therapies, meditations, and yoga.
In addition, rehabilitation programs introduce healthier habits that can benefit and improve your mental health.
Can alcohol make you depressed? Yes, and they’re permanently interconnected. Excessive drinking of alcohol affects your emotional well-being, which makes you seek temporary relief from alcohol. By seeking professional help and changing your lifestyle, you can break free from the vicious cycle of alcohol and depression. Your initial step to sobriety starts with seeking better coping mechanisms and professional help.
Seek guidance from Haven House Recovery Center for a healthier and sober life.
At Haven House Recovery Center, we provide a comprehensive addiction recovery treatment program to help individuals achieve healthier and sober life. We provide behavioral therapies and mindfulness activities that help individuals achieve lasting recovery.
Whether you’re struggling with alcoholism or mental health disorders, visit our alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, TN.