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Alcohol and depression

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by drc52, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    I'm aware that depression is the leading cause of alcoholism (might be wrong). What would be the best cure for someone suffering from both conditions? I'd assume that depression makes it very difficult to stay away from alcohol, so it would be crucial to cure both at the same time. What do you think?
  2. Brady2121

    Brady2121 Active Contributor

    If you cure the depression, you'll probably help out the alcoholism problem. However, to cure depression, one must know WHY they are depressed.
  3. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    I think this is very true. When someone stops drinking depression symptoms are alleviated within 48 hours and in my opinion this is a crucial first step.
  4. Waynefire

    Waynefire Member

    I have seen these two diseases go hand in hand more than I care to admit. I know that it can be hard to cope with one of them, but when you suffer from both of them at the same time, you tend to have even more problems living your life.
  5. jonathanmr22

    jonathanmr22 Member

    Human behavior, as it turns out, is not as "cut and dried" as alcoholism being initiated by depressive symptoms. The use and abuse of alcohol is most associated with cultural norms, not outright decisions by those who drink it. A variety of alcoholic beverages have been more consistent in any society, whether developed or not, than any government. Whenever a social norm exists that perpetuates the use of alcohol on a wide scale, the choice of whether or not to drink in any given situation is blurred extensively. No one inherently decides out of there own free will to drink toxic substances--that kind of behavior is mimicked, and cyclically reinforced.

    As for the "cure," the first step that an individual must take is separating their own free will from behavior that is condoned by society. Understanding and taking advantage of information related to predictable behavior is the key to successfully taking back control over one's drives.

    Of course, biological impairments (which are perpetuated by environmental factors) such as depression are worsened by depressant substances like alcohol--as compared to stimulants--and cause the initial symptoms to become enhanced. By enhancing the already active biochemistry which causes depression and combining it with a direct substance, the behavior then becomes more apparent. This creates a situation that is, while easy to diagnose, difficult to treat. And as any behavioral researcher will explain, the most obvious issues must be handled first before moving on to psychoanalytic or cognitive impairments. No one course of treatment can be singled out as "the cure" for the comorbidity of alcoholism and depression. Good luck to any of those dealing with it, and I truly believe that all have the mental, physical, and spiritual capacity to gain back control over his or her life.
  6. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    It really depends on a few things: Depression may be something that helps feed the addiction but something in the users past may be the cause. The origin of the depression, I would say. I think depression can also be a result of alcoholism as well. So, perhaps the confusion as to whether it is a cause or an effect comes from that? The inability to really know whether the chicken or the egg came first.
  7. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Depression and alcoholism are a vicious circle. You drink because you feel bad then end up feeling bad because you drank. The only real solution is to get to the bottom of what is causing the depression in the first place.
  8. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    Depending on the severity of the problem, the person may have to receive treatment. As above mentioned, depression leads to alcoholism. Alcoholism will also lead to depression due to its physical and emotional consequences. Physiologically, depression is a long term side effect of alcohol abuse. Furthermore, people may lose their friends, jobs, and loved ones because of alcoholism and therefore they become more depressed.
  9. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Let me bump this thread because it's important make aware people in the risks of drinking alcohol, not just from and addiction point of view and withdrawal effects, but in the fact that alcohol is a DEPRESSANT, and should never be used to cheer a depressed up, much less to combine it with antidepressants.
  10. CallipygianGamine

    CallipygianGamine Community Champion

    Very, very true. Speaking from experience, alcohol is one of the worst self-medication methods for depression. And I agree that it’s best to try and get to the bottom of what’s causing the depression; it may aid in overcoming alcoholism.
  11. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    I don't think they're directly related but they are absolutely related in the sense of filling the void. You know, normally when a person gets a high from a certain addiction he or she struggles with, not having that substance will leave their brain in a down mood because they are used to a non natural up and calmness.
  12. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Firstly you have to change your mindset in order to be able to overcome your depression. Thinking positive and telling yourself that you are able to make it gets you halfway to reaching your goals. At lest that's what I did, and I used to have both of these conditions. It just takes willpower and positive thinking.
  13. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    That's a really good thing, but difficult thing to do because it's really hard to do and not a lot of people have the ability or capacity to change their mind. For those who can, it's really helpful and motivational.
  14. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Well, as the saying goes "A healthy mind in a healthy body". In my opinion, if you try and quit your addiction but deep down inside you only do this because you somehow feel obligated to do so, it won't last very long. The human mind is more powerful than we think and can do amazing things. The mind and body form some sort of cybernetic system that operates accordingly.
  15. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    Absolutely. Inwardly, how we perceive things shapes reality, if we are inwardly sad, everything will seem miserable and sad, if we're inwardly happy and satisfied, everything will seem positive and satisfying.
  16. Bonzer

    Bonzer Community Champion

    Actually, you may resort to alcoholism due to depression. But, alcoholism worsens depression as it's a CNS depressant. The best way to quell the depression or to break the vicious circle is to address depression. You, however, have to address both at the same time. A psychiatrist or a rehab facility could help you come out of the problem.
  17. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    I do think there is a link between depression and alcoholism in which an alcoholic will be depressed, therefore, he will drink to satisfy himself or feel good. The thing is they don't need to treat both if depression is the cause, but most likely, drinking causes depression rather than depression causes drinking.
  18. Bonzer

    Bonzer Community Champion

    Excuse me, I didn't say that depression causes drinking. People who are depressed can resort to alcoholism to alleviate the pain and bitterness in their lives. They also breakdown due to the chronic low it causes and hence look for a means to escape the situation. But in the process, they get addicted to alcohol and it soon becomes a double whammy.

    Treating alcoholism too is important as the body gets addicted to it and expects it on a regular basis. It is thus important to wean off the victim from the alcoholism while treating for depression. You make a lot of sense anyway.
  19. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    I agree with you, I only wanted to share my thoughts not cause a debate.
  20. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I don't think that depression and alcohol necessarily go hand in glove. Obviously, many people think that drowning their sorrows in booze is a way of self-medicating, but then there are those who are acutely aware that alcohol will only worsen their symptoms and make them feel even more hopeless, and perhaps downright suicidal. Depression can have so many different reasons, organic imbalances being one of them. It's not all psychological. I regard depression as an illness that can be mild or severe. Sadly, many people don't really understand this and think that you can simply get rid of depression by being more "positive".