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Depression and Alcohol Abuse - Is There an Alcohol and Depression Connection?

Aug 17, 2007
Depression and alcohol abuse can definitely be related. Alcohol abuse can make a person feel more depressed since alcohol is a depressant substance. And conversely, a person can turn to alcohol to help them cope with the symptoms of depression. A kind of viscious cycle can occur because of depression and the way it makes a person feel.

The mental illness called depression causes the sufferer to feel intensely sad or perhaps worthless and alone. To cope with these feelings, many depressives resort to using alcohol, illegal drugs, tranquilizers and/or sleeping pills. The problem with these kinds of substances is that they often do more damage than good.

A question to raise is does depression and alcohol abuse happen because of depression, or does alcohol and depression happen because too much alcohol was consumed, making the depression worse? Does depression make the person abuse alcohol or does drinking excessive alcohol cause depression?

Almost forty percent of people who drink heavily will also have symptoms of depression. About five percent of men who are social drinkers suffer from depression but nearly ten percent of women who are social drinkers will be affected.

Alcohol can provide a form of benefit to those who suffer from depression, but alcohol consumption can work against them. Drinking alcohol in moderation can help a person feel better, perhaps forget their problems and make the world seem to be a better place to live. But a problem can be that instead of seeking professional help and taking prescribed antidepressant medications, a person attempts to self medicate with alcohol to alter their mood.

Depression and alcohol together can be a dangerous combination. The more alcohol a person drinks, the higher the risk of accidents, from motor vehicle accidents to slips and falls. Alcohol abusers account for about one third of domestic accidents, forty percent of fatal fires in their homes and over twenty percent of accidents at work. Persons with depression and alcohol abuse also often have a higher risk of suicide.

Persons who drink a lot of alcohol will usually discover that continued drinking actually begins to depress their mood. Often, the person begins looking elsewhere for help such as using sleeping pills to help them get to sleep at night. And in the mornings, they take something else to help get them going. These kinds of substances can become addictive very quickly. The result is that instead of taking the appropriate medications to help with their depression, they are taking medicines that are not designed to help with their depression issues.

Alcohol combined with the wrong medications will not help the person suffering from depression and may make the condition worse. The person suffering from depression and alcohol abuse should realize that they really have no choice but to seek help from their health care provider.

Begin the process of finding answers to what is going on in the persons life. Depressive disorders tend to be rated as mild, moderate and severe. Most mental health professionals will evaluate the depressive illness based on what kind of symptoms the person has and how well the person can function in their every day life. If the person is having suicidal thoughts, they will be considered as having a severe depressive illness and urgently needs professional help and intervention.

The correct approach is to seek the help of a qualified health care provider to properly diagnose and treat the symptoms of depression with appropriate antidepressant medications. Psychotherapy may also be prescribed to deal with underlying mental health issues. Instead of allowing depression and alcohol to rule ones life, find professional help to learn how to manage and live with depression.

Copyright 2007 InfoSearch Publishing
About the Author
Read more about signs of depression and treatment options. David Lee Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and a writer for http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com - visit the website and find information on a wide variety of health issues.
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