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Alcoholism and Depression

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Vinaya, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    I have an alcoholic uncle who is also suffering from acute depression. His psychiatrist says alcoholism is the result of his depression. However, a rehab specialist says, depression is because of this alcoholism. We ca confused which one is true and which to treat first.
  2. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    I don't think it is a matter of treating one first and then the next. You treat him as a whole. You address them at the same time. If he stops the drinking the depression will ease up. Healthy eating, sleeping and exercise will help him out.
  3. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    When I used to be a heavy alcoholic drinker, I also used to be depressed and the only way I could vent out my emotions was through alcohol. My depression came first before the alcohol. When I found the company of alcohol I felt like I could somehow release my feelings through it. Now that I found new reasons for living and enough reason for staying sober, I no longer seek for the temporary consolation of alcohol.
    TJB1463 likes this.
  4. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    You have to find the source of it all. Alcohol can be a trigger of pent up feelings. But how does depression lead to alcohol? Well you need to find what is making him depressed. Is it life, betrayal, ex wife, it has to be something along those lines. What triggers your uncle?
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    In a lot of cases alcoholism and depression go hand in hand, and whichever comes first can lock you in to that cycle.

    You try to fight your depression with drink, soon all the drink is doing is making you more depressed so you drink more. You can't fix one without fixing the other, as one will lead to a relapse whichever way you try and do it one at a time.
  6. akiram13

    akiram13 Community Champion

    I believe that they feed each other. They more he drinks the more problems he will cause for himself. The depression in itself is pushing him to drink. Its a constant cycle and a hard one to break from. Although it is possible it will take alot of inner strĺength and self discipline.
    TJB1463 and pwarbi like this.
  7. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Alcohol is a depressant, so it's not unusual for an alcoholic to be depressed. My dad was that way. And he drank even more thinking the alcohol would help his depression. Instead, it just made him feel worse.
    TJB1463 likes this.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    In my case there was a deep rooted unhappiness I guess you'd call it that I masked with alcohol. I regretted things that had happened in my childhood, and as a way to forget, I started to drink because at first it made me feel better about myself and stopped me remembering.

    That obviously couldn't go on forever and the more alcohol it was taking for me to forget and in the end, I hit rock bottom and ended up depressed aswell as being an alcoholic, and I think that's the same story that a lot of people will tell.
  9. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Whеn glаnсing аt thе symрtоms оf dерrеssiоn аnd аlсоhоlism, thе соnnесtiоn is nоt immеdiаtеly арраrеnt. Thеy сеrtаinly sееm likе twо diffеrеnt соnditiоns, аnd thеy аrе. Hоwеvеr, yоu саn imаginе thаt оnе might lеаd tо thе оthеr. Sоmеоnе whо is dерrеssеd might turn tо аlсоhоl tо fееl bеttеr. Аnd sоmеоnе struggling with а dереndеnсе оn аlсоhоl соuld сlеаrly bесоmе dерrеssеd аs а rеsult. Rеsеаrсh соnduсtеd in rесеnt yеаrs hаs соnfirmеd thаt thе twо illnеssеs аrе indееd rеlаtеd.
    deanokat likes this.
  10. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    I think that depression can be easier to treat with a mixture of medication and therapy, so it is as good a place to start as any. Once the depression is a little more controlled, he should find that he is in a better mindset to be able to deal with his issues with alcohol, and these might be easier to kick given his new mindset, which of course can only be a good thing indeed. So yes, I would always suggest tackling the depression first, as it seems like a much more sensible thing to do.
  11. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Hmm, this sounds like one of those, "Who was first, the chicken or the egg?" things. In my opinion, depression comes first. It's the cause for drinking. Once you have a couple of drinks and feel happy. you never want to go back to that depression state again, and once you do, the depression comes back with a vengeance. So, what do you do? You pick up another bottle hoping to get back to that happy state. I won't get tired of saying that if you want to beat depression, start meditating. People think it's pure mumbo jumbo, but that stuff really works if you do it right.
    TJB1463 and deanokat like this.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I've heard that meditation is good for a lot of illnesses or conditions but I have to admit, I fall into the being sceptical category as far as all that's concerned.

    I'm not saying it doesn't work, but I think it only works for certain people and its not for everyone.
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Many alcoholics who try to self-medicate and use alcohol thinking it will be help them beat depression don't know that it does make things a lot worse than they were. And as their depression gets worse and they don't know the problems is alcohol-related they'll drink more but the depression keeps getting worse. Since they co-occur the two have to be dealt with simultaneously.
    LovesBigFool likes this.
  14. yaitsjonny

    yaitsjonny Member

    Your uncle may be using the alcohol as his own escape from his depressive thoughts and feelings. I have seen my own friends and family members do it before. Naturally, both alcohol and depression have severe effects on one's mental and physical health, so both should be addressed immediately. Yet, if your uncle's alcoholism is caused from his depression, then the treatment of his depression can result in the end of his alcoholism.
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Finding the root cause of the problem is key in situations like this, as people have said before.

    Whatever the depression is caused by, finding and fixing that could also end the alcoholism aswell, as they will go side by side in circumstances such as this.
  16. LovesBigFool

    LovesBigFool Active Contributor

    For me depression was just like physical pain. Alcohol medicated me and I did not feel the pain at all. That is what happened in the beginning. Later I progressed to needing alcohol to not feel extremely depressed and intense pain. When I reached my bottom I had the added pain of alcohol not taking away the pain along with knowing absolutely that I would never be able to stop getting extremely drunk twenty four hours a day. Absolute hopeless feelings tormented me like demons.

    I am sober now. How that happened is a story for another time.
  17. rajesh

    rajesh Senior Contributor

    Yes, I agree with the psychiatrist. Depression can be caused by too much alcohol. Alcohol can cause depression because it desensitize our dopamine receptors and it rewires our brain and that can be the reason of depression.
  18. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    It definitely can be a "what came first, the chicken or the egg" argument. I think a lot of the time, people use alcohol as a way of self medicating their depression. They may not even consciously notice they're doing it - and may not believe they have depression. But of course, alcohol itself is a depressant and brings about those feelings too. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact root cause, at times.
  19. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It could be both. I think the one who can tell or confirm is your uncle or the people who knew the history behind his drinking. True that treating both as a whole can make it work better as it could be both the reasons as well.
  20. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    Depression and alcoholism go together and both should be treated as early as possible. Your uncle should receive therapy to help him avoid relying on alcohol when depressed; he should be taught ways to manage the depression when he feels low.

    Alcohol never helps with depression but makes it worse.