Alcohol is a highly addictive drug. When addicted to alcohol you may experience similar symptoms to that of clinical depression. It is common for alcoholism and depression to coincide with each other, with around 30-50% of people experiencing alcoholism also suffering from depression. You can be at a higher risk of both conditions if they have been in your family.
Here are some key facts about alcoholism and depression:
- Having a family history of alcohol addiction or depression will put someone at a higher risk of developing either condition.
- Becoming addicted to alcohol may bring back depression in someone who had successfully treated the illness.
- An alcohol addict may feel most depressed soon after they first stop drinking. This is the hardest stage of treating alcoholism and often requires help to not go back to the drink.
- Alcoholics will often stop feeling depression three to four weeks after they stop drinking.
- Someone with depression who becomes addicted to alcohol is much more likely to become a victim of suicide. This is due to several reasons:
- Drinking can increase depressive feelings as well as your impulsiveness.
- When under the influence of alcohol, a person’s judgement is negatively affected, meaning you are unlikely to make unwise decisions.
Due to the increased risk of suicide, we highly recommend seeing a mental health professional when depression and alcohol abuse are mixed or if you are concerned about you or someone you know. Our professional staff are here to help you, you can contact us here.
Alcohol Can Cause Depression to Return
It has been reported that people who have successfully overcome their depression have had depressive symptoms return after they started drinking alcohol.
Due to high risks of depression in the first few weeks after quitting alcohol, it is recommended for those at a higher risk of developing depression to have someone help them through that time, to keep them occupied, happy and away from alcohol. It can be difficult to have a friend or family member support that whole time which is why there are support groups to help, such as Alcoholics anonymous or even online groups.
Higher Rates of Suicide
For those with depression who have become addicted to alcohol, the risk of suicide increases. There have been studies showing that alcohol and drug addiction is the most likely cause of a suicide attempt. A person who has either addiction should meet with a mental health professional to talk about getting help and reducing the risk of suicide. Psychiatrists can identify symptoms which may indicate depression in those with addictions.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol a psychiatrist may be able to help. Please contact one near you. We are in the Makati region if you wish to call us on:
You may think that drinking alcohol gives you a break from feeling depressed but really it is contributing to the symptoms in the long run. If you have depression, the best way to treat it is to see a professional psychiatrist or psychologist.