Alcohol Induced Depression

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Addiction, Alcohol, Mental Illness, Mood, Rehab, Sobriety |

Alcohol Induced Depression

If you’re an alcoholic, you probably have noticed mood problems or those close to you have noticed your mood problems. And you may be tempted to say, ‘Well, I drink a lot because I’m depressed.’ You may be right, but it’s even more likely that you’re depressed because you drink a lot.

Alcohol Induced Depression

Alcohol is a type of drug known as a depressant. This means that it inhibits certain receptors in the brain and the result of this is that there is a depressive effect on the central nervous system. It is hardly surprising then that chronic alcohol abuse leads the individual to develop depression, which is known as alcohol induced depression. The irony is that many of these individuals will be using alcohol already as a means to escape depressive symptoms. While they may initially feel like they are getting some reprieve they are actually making things worse. Those individuals who have never had to deal with depression are likely to do so as a result of alcohol abuse.

Research on Alcohol Induced Depression

A new study clarifies that heavy drinking can lead to mood problems that often result in depression.

Although experts have long known that heavy drinking can spur temporary episodes of depression — what’s known as “substance-induced depression” — the new research shows the prevalence and clinical importance of the phenomenon.

The study is found in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The average person does not realize that heavy drinking can induce mood problems. What’s more, not every doctor might be aware of it, either. But it’s important that he or she pay close attention to this problem, because depression caused by heavy drinking has a different prognosis and is treated much differently from major depressive episodes that are not seen in the context of heavy drinking.

Although the symptoms of independent and substance-induced depressions can be identical, if the sadness develops in the context of heavy drinking, hence alcohol induced depression, the symptoms are likely to lift within several weeks to a month of abstinence and rarely require antidepressants to go away.

Consequently, it’s important for doctors to consider alcohol use disorders as a possible cause of patients’ depression symptoms rather than simply “reaching for the prescription pad” and recommending an antidepressant.

If alcohol is the cause, the depression is very likely to disappear with abstinence. Many people think that some individuals drink heavily because they are depressed, and that is the case for some. But the study actually found no evidence that people with a history of major depression were at increased risk for developing alcohol problems in the future.

How to Deal with Alcohol Induced Depression

Those people who are suffering from alcohol induced depression need to take action. These symptoms are unlikely to disappear by themselves. The situation may deteriorate until the individual takes action. In order to deal with this type of depression the individual needs to:

Quit alcohol and other forms of substance abuse. If the individual has reached a stage where their drinking is causing depression then this may be a sign that they need to quit altogether.

If the individual has been abusing alcohol long term then they may need medical assistance in order to give up. This could include a stay in rehab or a medically supervised withdrawal period.

Some people with a dual diagnosis will need to have both their conditions dealt with simultaneously. This can be achieved in a rehab that specializes in treating people with a dual diagnosis.

In most instances the symptoms of alcohol induced depression will disappear after the individual has been sober for a few weeks.

If people continue to suffer from symptoms of depression after becoming sober they need to seek appropriate medical advice.





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