The Link Between Alcohol and Depression
Having an alcohol addiction or having depression is hard enough by itself. Experiencing both at once makes each one worse. If you suspect you have both diseases, you may not know how to move forward with recovery. You may wonder which to treat first, because you don’t know whether the addiction or the mental health illness came first. Understanding the link between alcoholism and depression can help you know how to approach your situation.
How Alcohol Fuels Depression
Alcohol contributes to depression by negatively affecting your mood and damaging your brain. Drinking too much alcohol causes you to make mistakes or act impulsively, which can lead to severe consequences, such as losing your job, that increase your depression. Furthermore, recognizing you have an alcohol addiction usually leads to feelings of shame, worthlessness, and despair, all of which worsen depression as well.
How Depression Fuels Alcoholism
Although alcohol plays a role in depression, it is more common for the depression to be present first. Those with depression have higher chances of turning to alcohol and abusing it, particularly during the teenage years. Women with depression are also more likely to become alcoholics and consume more when in a depressed state.
Drinking becomes a way to cope with the emotional pain that comes with depression. However, it only intensifies the feelings and lessens the effect of antidepressants, causing you to return to drinking and continue the addictive cycle.
How to Approach Recovery
Getting treatment for alcoholism will help with both the addiction and the depression. Without drinking, your depressive symptoms will decrease, and eventually go away if they were the result of alcohol. Through therapy and group support, you will learn healthy ways to manage trauma, emotions, and both temporary and chronic depression.
There is hope for you to become healthy and happy. Learn more about how the addiction treatment at Brighton Recovery Center can help you on your journey to long-term recovery.