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Can Alcohol Make Depression Worse?

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    Can Alcohol Make Depression Worse?

    Can Alcohol Make Depression Worse?

    Depression and alcohol go hand-in-hand. In fact, the prevalence of depression among alcohol-dependent people is high — 63.8%. With such high numbers, it is no secret that depression and alcohol influence each other to make the other worse in the vicious, deadly cycle of addiction. Keep reading to find out more about alcohol, depression, and when it is time to seek treatment at an alcohol and mental health rehab.

    Alcohol and Depression: The Cycle

    Asking the question, “can alcohol make depression worse?” is similar to asking which came first — the chicken or the egg. Everybody’s answer is different, and no two people are the same. Individuals who suffer from depression — whether diagnosed or undiagnosed — may seek to self-medicate to ease their symptoms. Others may have depression symptoms develop after the alcohol addiction has altered their brain chemistry.

    Alcohol is a Depressant

    Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions—resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions, and an inability to react quickly. In addition, alcohol releases large amounts of serotonin from the brain.

    Serotonin is the body’s feel-good hormone, responsible for giving humans the feeling of pleasure and happiness. When the body’s serotonin “tank” is emptied in by alcohol, it causes depression symptoms as the body works to refill it. If an individual is already experiencing depression, it will exponentially worsen these symptoms.

    Alcohol’s Negative Consequences

    It is also no secret that alcoholism can cause a range of negative consequences in one’s life. If any of them are experienced, it can lead to depression. This can also lead to more drinking, worsening the overall situation.

    Some of these negative consequences can include:

    • Financial problems. Alcohol addiction can cause major financial troubles. High bar tabs, impulsive purchases, drinking-and-shopping, repair costs, medical bills, legal fees, time away from work, unemployment, and more can cause large amounts of stress, which leads to depression.
    • Legal trouble. DUIs, domestic abuse, violence, vandalism, and other risky and dangerous behavior due to alcohol can quickly lead to depression. Jail time and/or a felony on your record due to alcohol will also cause depression that could have been avoided.
    • Family issues. Alcohol addiction does not just affect the individual experiencing it, as it affects the whole family. Divorce, child-and-parent estrangement, and other broken family bonds can very quickly lead to depression caused by alcohol.

    When to Get Help

    If you are experiencing worsening symptoms of depression while drinking alcohol, it may be time to get help at one of the top inpatient depression treatment centers. Alcohol and mental health rehab can help stop the cycle of depression and alcohol abuse so that you can live a healthy, happy life in recovery.

    The top 5 signs to look for include:

    1. The inability to stop or slow use. No matter how much you don’t want to drink tonight, or how much you only want to have one or two glasses of wine, it all somehow goes out the window. You frequently wake up the next morning feeling regret, guilt, or sadness over your inability to control your use.
    2. Have experienced one or more negative consequences. If you have experienced any of the above-mentioned financial, legal, or relationship consequences, it is time to start seeking help at an alcohol and mental health rehab before they get worse.
    3. Your health is suffering. If you’re losing or gaining too much weight, unable to sleep well, feel terrible every morning, are neglecting your hygiene, or are otherwise becoming sicker, it is time to seek treatment at a top inpatient depression treatment center.
    4. You experience withdrawal symptoms. When your body becomes chemically dependent on alcohol, withdrawal symptoms occur. If you experience these, it means you are chemically dependent, and you need help before your addiction becomes deadly.
    5. A lot of time is spent surrounding alcohol. Whether you spend a lot of time at bars, are drunk most of the day and night, blackout frequently, are hungover frequently, or spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol and its effects on you, it is time for help.

    About Seasons in Malibu

    Alcohol makes depression worse in many ways. Alcohol’s chemical interference with the brain will cause depression symptoms, and alcohol causes a wide range of negative consequences in one’s life, all of which can lead to depression. Combine all of these with an already existing mental health condition and it can quickly lead to deadly results.

    The alcohol rehab programs at Seasons In Malibu start with detox and carry through to aftercare. Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative, and client-centered. Our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that in order for the client to heal, the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them.

    Upon arrival at Seasons alcohol rehab programs, you will be seen immediately by an MD that specializes in addiction medicine and alcohol detox with many years of experience in this process and they will carefully assess your risk and closely monitor your detox process.

    With our superior team of clinicians, we are able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed.

    For more information, visit