The connection between alcoholism and depression is hard to ignore. Many people who suffer from alcohol addiction also suffer from depression, and vice versa. That’s why when seeking treatment for alcoholism, the underlying factors for the addiction must be addressed as well. Read on to learn more about the link between alcoholism and depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is classified as a mental illness and it can vary in severity. Most doctors characterize depression by a consistent sense of sadness in an individual that affects every area of their life. In some cases, depression can lead to other diseases, mental disorders, and even injury. According to the CDC, depression costs the United States more than $210 billion a year. When someone suffers from depression, it can seep into every aspect of their life and drastically affect their relationships, their career, and their ability to grow as an individual. It also can put the person at a higher risk for suicide and self-harm. People who live with depression are more likely to partake in high-risk behaviors and are at risk for substance abuse and eating disorders.
How does alcoholism factor into depression?
Sometimes a person with depression will drink alcohol to cope with their mental illness. Alcohol has a sedative effect that mimics the effects of certain kinds of depression medication, helping to distract the person from their constant sadness. While drinking can offer temporary relief, it ultimately just makes depression worse. Since alcohol abuse has a negative effect on virtually every aspect of life, compounded with the negative effects of depression, it is a recipe for disaster and chaos. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs does not ease the symptoms of depression, it only increases them.
If you or someone you love suffers from alcoholism and depression, please reach out. We can help you find a program that is designed to treat the underlying factors that lead to alcoholism. Give us a call today.