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Alcohol and Depression:
A Dangerous Combination

Maybe you had a hard at day at work.

Or perhaps you received bad news about a loved one.

So you have a drink to comfort yourself. 

Hey, we've all been there. Alcohol can be a soothing balm to offset the emotional pain of depression.


Alcohol and Depression: A Dangerous Combination
Alcohol and Depression: A Dangerous Combination

Image Credit: Pixabay


A couple of drinks once in a while is one thing.  But the need for a beer or a glass of wine to drown your sorrows every time a problem crops up can be a sign of alcohol abuse.

Have no fear; this article will empower you with the tips and information you need to overcome alcohol and depression. 



Alcohol and Depression: When a Problem Arises

Individuals with mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder will have even more to contended with. 

Yes, having a drink or two can lift depression symptoms and might even help with insomnia. But this relief only lasts for a very short while. Eventually, the body will desire larger amounts of alcohol to get the same effect which over time leads to alcohol dependency.

Alcohol may not cause depression but it so does make matters worse. 

But how?

-Alcohol is used as a form of self-medication and a way to dull or numb emotional pain.  If the underlying cause of depression isn't resolved, then symptoms will worsen over time. 

-Alcohol lowers inhibitions and influences behaviors. You may do things you wouldn't otherwise do.  This may result in feelings of guilt which often leave you emotionally stuck.

-Since alcohol worsens depression symptoms and lower inhibitions there's an increased risk of suicide. 

-Alcohol abuse and depression often lead to changes in behavior which may negatively effect relationships with loved ones, family, friends and work colleagues.

Half of all people who have a mental illness have a substance abuse problem. This is known as co-occurring conditions. 

Depressed kids are more likely to abuse alcohol later in life.

Teens battling major depression are 2x more likely to start drinking. 

The thing is, you don't have to be an alcoholic to have a drinking problem. See, people tend to believe that there's either straight up alcoholism (consuming multiple alcoholic drinks everyday) or non-alcoholics (those who only have an occasional drink).

But research proves that people tend to drink the most during late their teens and early to mid-twenties. Some college students are more prone to binge drinking-consuming about four or more drinks in a very short time period.  Binge drinking is usually done on the weekends during social settings, like parties. 


Women are Drinking More

According to a British study,women are consuming as much alcohol as men. 

So it's becoming more socially acceptable for women to drink then it's been in the past. 

The risks of alcohol for women are especially alarming because of the following reasons. 

Body fat:  Yes, ladies I kid you not. Because a woman's body contains more fat tissue than a man's, alcohol tends to stay in a woman's body longer.  The longer alcohol remains in the body; the more organs are exposed to its toxins.

Vital enzymes: Women have lower amounts of enzymes that help the body break down alcohol in both the stomach and the liver. This means alcohol stays in the body longer.

Alcohol abuse can lead to risky sexual behavior and unwanted pregnancy. There's also the increasing risk of consuming alcohol during pregnancy which often leads to its own set of problems ranging from low birth weight to mental retardation.  

Alcohol and Depression: Tips for Recovery

The first order of business is to admit that there may be a problem. But how do you know if you've got a drinking problem?

Drinking may be a problem for you if...

-Reducing your alcohol intake causes you to experience physical symptoms like anxiety, nausea, cold sweats, or agitation.

-You may feel sadness or guilt after having a drink.  This may be true even though you drink to feel better.

-You become accustomed to the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis. After a while, larger amounts of alcohol are desired to feel the same effects.

-You have strong withdrawal symptoms and cravings for alcohol that cause you to give in to the urge to drink.

Self-harm and suicide are common with those battling alcohol addiction.

Treating depression and a co-occurring addiction, such as alcohol dependency, can be challenging, but not impossible. 

Substance abuse and depression are best treated at the same time. 

During the early stages of recovery. Specialists might recommend a residential inpatient setting where patients can receive both detox and rehab with the added support of therapists and clinicians. 

Inpatient rehabilitation settings allow for better care due to close monitoring. So in addition to getting substance abuse treatment patients may receive some form of counseling to help pave the way towards psychological healing. 


Source: http://www.dualdiagnosis.org


After rehabilitation, it's crucial to get involved with a program that offers continuing support. Peer support groups are perfect for providing encouragement that will help get you through tough times.  Plus, staying motivated is key to maintaining sobriety. 

Alcohol and depression: Additional Resources

-The Dual Recovery Anonymous is a 12-step group that address both substance abuse problems and co-occurring mental health disorders.

-Smart Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a self-improvement program that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to teach abstinence from alcohol or drugs.

-Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a non-profit organization that specifically focuses the needs of alcoholic women. 

I hope this article helps you on your journey towards better mental health.

Bright Skies Are Ahead,




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› Alcohol and Depression



Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!




Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!