Facts Linking Alcohol and Depression:
- Many people drink when they feel depressed hoping it will help but alcohol is a depressant and only makes the problem worse.
- Alcohol can activate a gene which causes depression
- Alcohol lowers serotonin in the brain which neuroscientists and doctors believe has a negative effect on your mood
Now here’s the article…
Alcohol – Making Your Depression Worse
By Karl Perera
If you are suffering from some of the symptoms of depression then you may be tempted to turn to alcohol to ease your pain. Don’t be fooled by the temporary buzz that alcohol can give you, it is not your friend.
When you use alcohol as a way out of your depression what you are doing is adding substance abuse to your emotional disturbance (that is what depression is). Creating a second problem only makes things worse.
Drugs like alcohol, marijuana and Zoloft are all used to help with the worst pain of depression but none of them offer a real solution, why?
The answer is that they all offer temporary help with your symptoms and do nothing for the real reasons for your depression. When you are depressed you may suffer from any of the following symptoms:
- Negative thoughts and doubts
- Lack of energy
- Sleep problems
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Stress and worry
Alcohol can ease all of the above but only for a short time and when the effect wears off, you feel even worse. It is actually a depressant though it seems that drinking makes you more relaxed and helps you to stop worrying. This is actually wrong and due to the short term buzz that drinking gives you. The other drugs (both legal and illegal) are the same. In severe cases of depression medication may help but is not a solution – it is a tool that may help you find the real problem inside you.
Alcohol is one of the WORST strategies you can follow. It can lead you to an even worse place than you are now, so leave the bottle alone…
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The important thing for you to know at this point is that alcohol can cause depression. This is why it is so important to stop drinking if you are depressed. Some claims have been made that drinking is healthy in moderation but this is not so according to the statistics:
40% of heavy drinkers suffer from symptoms commonly attributed to depression. Even with people who drink very little the figures are still 5% for men and 10% for women. This means there is still a danger that alcohol, even in small quantities may be harmful. One Canadian study found that 32% of depressed patients were dependent on alcohol while only 9% of those who were not depressed were dependent on alcohol. This shows how easy it is to become dependent on alcohol if you feel depressed.
How exactly does alcohol abuse start?
It usually starts with the positive effects that affect you for a short time. You feel more relaxed and more worry free. Perhaps the alcohol helps you forget your problem. This temporary affect may encourage you to seek this lift that drink may offer you. It goes from there and before you know it, if you are not careful you can become dependent. Breaking free of alcohol is not easy but necessary if you become depressed as a result.
Alcohol Depression: Effects and Consequences
One of the most serious consequences of depression is suicide. This is really the result of a total loss of hope. Suicide is so unnatural that it shows the power of your thinking, in this case the destructive power of thinking. Alcohol can lead to suicide because it can make depression worse and confuse your judgement and decision-making ability.
In truth there is always hope but alcohol encourages risk taking and removes your inhibitions so your behaviour is very differnt from your normal behaviour. Drinking can also increase aggression and this can easily turn inwards so the anger and agression becomes self destructive.
The very problem of alcohol depression also involves a feeling of powerlessness because the alcohol can control how you feel, act and think. The solution is to slowly take control again and reduce the amount of drink you consume. You need help to do this and friends are vital. Another major problem is that when you are depressed you avoid social contact and drinking can add to that by making you behave in an anti-social way. If you are not careful you will drive away even your good friends and create problems in your relationships.
One of the biggest problems connected with depression and also with excessive drinking is that of blame. The first step towards curing yourself of either one of these two problems, is to accept you have a problem and that you are responsible for what is happening to you. Too often, sufferers blame everything and eberybody but themselves. If this is you, please, accept your problem and realise you need to take responsibility for your own wellbeing. Getting help means asking for help and that may take courage but if you understand how serious your problem is, then I am sure you can take that step.
It can be easy to try to go it alone. Depression on its own is difficult enough (and makes you feel lonely), but when you also add alcohol into the mix you are on very dangerous ground. Ask for help. You are never really alone.
Want to learn more about depression? Discover more about the symptoms of depression here.
Alcohol Depression: Do you have it?
Here are a few questions I’d like you to answer to see if you are suffering from alcohol depression. Please think about your answer and respond honestly. Accepting your problem and being honest with yourself is one of the most important steps to take.
- Do you drink alcohol in order to sleep?
- Do you drink alone?
- How often do you drink to forget your problems and worries?
- Do you sometimes really need a drink?
Your answers to the above should be a pretty good indication if you suffer from this problem or not. Then your next step will be to admit your problem to someone else and to yourself and commit to doing something about it.
Alcohol Depression: What to Do About It
Here is a rundown of some things that you can do to help yourself if you suffer from alcohol depression:
- Get help – counseling is a good idea and the support and professional advice is often exactly what you need. Friends can also help and their support can offer you the hope and support you need.
- You may need to go to rehab for your addiction to alcohol. If you need help in your struggle against alcoholism contact a residential rehab center that understands the powerful impact addiction can have on you and your family. Most alcohol rehab programs address in one way or another the psychological issues surrounding a patient. A luxury alcohol treatment center takes you from alcohol detox and counseling right through to aftercare.
- Know what the cause of your drinking is. Why do you drink? Is it marital problems, social difficulties or the problems that life throws at you? We all have problems and at times it does seem hopeless, but alcohol is not the answer.
Want to know more about how to help yourself? Get more advice about depression help here.
- Detox can be helpful and changing your diet to eat something much more helpful can increase your energy too. Star eating fruit and more vegetables, you’ll notice an improvement in how you feel.
- Exercise – get your mind off your problems and start putting your energy into something that is more positive. You’ll start to feel and look better. Exercise also gives you a mental boost. Just get up and get started on some form of exercise now.
- Yoga – good for the mind and body. It reduces stress and relaxes you. It is a great way to help combat the effects of depression.
One of the biggest steps you could take right now is to motivate yourself to change. If you have the desire to change and improve your situation, you will succeed. No one can truly motivate you to help yourself but you. Do you want positive change? Do you want to escape from depression and the hold that alcohol has on you? Take responsibility and take action now, not later, right now. What is one positive step you can take right now? Do it.
You don’t have to be a victim of depression and alcohol and you can take back control of your life, many have done just that. Don’t wait, decide now that you want a life filled with happiness and hope. I believe you deserve it, don’t you?
A Few More Effects of Alcohol
- Research suggests men drink before they suffer from depression but women drink after already suffering.
- Suicide rates increase among depressed people who also drink alcohol.
- It rids you of vitamins and so you feel physically worse
- Drinking also affects your stress hormones so you actually feel more depressed
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