a person sits at a bar possibly with both alcohol and depression

How Alcohol and Depression Are Related

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can cause serious medical and mental health problems, which can shorten your life expectancy and diminish your overall quality of life. Because alcoholism leads to significant neurotransmitter imbalances, alcohol and depression often co-occur. Although alcohol is legal, it is also widely abused because it has the potential to cause both physical and psychological dependence. It is a central nervous system depressant that causes your breathing to slow down. This means that consuming too much alcohol at once or mixing it with other substances can lead to ethanol poisoning.

Finding the right team to help you break the chains of alcohol addiction is key to a successful life of recovery. At the Right Step Hill Country, we know how important it is to have a supportive team of medical professionals and recovery specialists with you every step of the way. By helping you treat the symptoms of both alcoholism and depression, you can be sure that you take the right step on the road to recovery at our alcohol addiction treatment center. Call 1.844.675.1628 to speak with a recovery specialist today.

Alcohol and Depression

Alcohol intoxication impacts your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  It can lower your inhibitions and impair your judgment, creating the perfect storm for bad decisions. Whenever you consume alcohol, your brain releases more neurotransmitters than it should, which makes the positive effects associated with intoxication. Once you’re sober, you suddenly experience a major depletion of neurotransmitters, which can lead to cravings and negative moods.

Alcohol and depression are strongly connected because depression increases your risk of developing an alcohol abuse disorder, and alcoholism can cause depression. When you abuse alcohol and depression symptoms begin to develop, it’s essential to find help quickly. Alcoholism is a progressive and chronic condition, meaning treatment is necessary to recover fully. Alcohol and depression can cause significant problems in your personal life, relationships, career, and health.

The Long-Term Risks of Alcohol Abuse

The longer you abuse alcohol, the more you’re at risk for experiencing severe complications and symptoms, such as liver damage, neurological problems, and malnutrition. Because alcohol is physically and psychologically addictive, when you develop alcoholism, you constantly have to drink more and more to get drunk. Since ethanol is the main ingredient in alcohol responsible for intoxication and is filtered by your liver, alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, liver disease, and hepatitis.

Some common signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Needing to drink to feel normal
  • Spending the majority of your time drinking or thinking about drinking
  • Concealing your alcohol use
  • Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about your drinking
  • Inability to stop or reduce your drinking on your own

How Do You Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?

A co-occurring condition is when you have both substance abuse or alcohol abuse disorder and a mental health disorder. You can have both conditions at the same time or one right after the other. When you suffer from a co-occurring disorder, finding help from a dual diagnosis program is an integral part of your recovery.

Since mental health symptoms like depression can increase cravings, failing to manage your mental health during recovery can lead to a relapse. When you have a co-occurring disorder, you may use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate your mental health symptoms. Since alcoholism and mental health disorders involve neurotransmitter imbalances, abusing alcohol ultimately destabilizes your mental health.

A dual diagnosis program for alcohol and depression utilizes evidence-based and holistic therapies to help you learn how to manage and cope with your symptoms. Dual diagnosis programs offer both inpatient and outpatient options. Inpatient dual diagnosis programs for alcohol and depression offer the highest level of care in a residential setting. This treatment is ideal if you have severe alcoholism or multiple attempts at treatment.

Common Therapies for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Some of the most effective therapies for treating a dual diagnosis rely on helping people overcome their feelings toward alcohol and manage their emotions. These therapies may include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Experiential therapies
  • Family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing

Reach Out for Help Today

When you are struggling with alcoholism, you can lose control of your life. Since alcoholism causes you to make drinking a priority, it can damage your career, health, and marriage. Alcohol and depression commonly co-occur, so reaching out for treatment is especially important if you have a co-occurring disorder. Call us today at 1.844.675.1628 to learn more about your treatment options.

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