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Alcohol and Depression

man passed out holding shot of alcohol showing alcohol and depression

Alcohol and depression are very much intertwined. Here at the Integrative Life Center, we find a large majority of our clients have battled major depression at some point. Alcohol and depression are closely related. Researchers have done studies to try to figure out exactly how they connect. Also, they attempt to find which one is likely to come first. The truth of the matter is, there have been no conclusive results. It seems that other than both influencing the same areas of the brain, individual situations may determine which is present first. However, regardless of which arises first, alcohol and depression are both serious issues. Fortunately, each is very treatable. Integrative Life Center has the means to help.

When Depression Comes First

Many of those who enter a program to deal with alcohol abuse remember having at least one major depressive episode, sometimes back as far as childhood. It is often during adolescence that these people take their first drink. This is done to help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Up to a certain point, alcohol seems to raise your mood. Unfortunately, it is a depressant and when you reach a certain level of alcohol in your system, it lowers your mood. That is why many people will start the night off being cheerful after a drink or two but as they drink more, they may turn to either anger or tears.

Alcohol May Worsen Depression

Alcohol and depression tend to work in the same areas of the brain. This increases any tendency towards depression after a while. In addition, as a person continues to use alcohol as a way to escape things they are feeling, they become more dependent upon it. This dependency can lead to trouble with the law or with finances. Relationships may start to crumble. These things add to the depression. As life starts to fall apart and depression deepens, the person may start to drink, even more, trying to deaden the emotions.

Treating Alcohol and Depression

When a person suffers from both alcohol use disorder and depression, it is considered to be a dual diagnosis. At this point, it isn’t important to know which of the disorders came first because they have become intrinsically intertwined. What is important is recognizing that both do exist and getting treatment for both. Just treating the alcohol use disorder leaves you vulnerable to eventually returning to alcohol to deal with the depression that still exists. You need to learn more appropriate coping mechanisms. Alcohol and depression, when left to their own devices, can often lead to suicide. Treating both together can literally save your life.

Integrative Life Center

We give our clients with dual diagnosis a chance to develop skills that will get them back into the world and functioning on a healthier level than before. At Integrative Life Center, we understand that each individual has a different journey through recovery. Therefore, we make it a point to offer a wide range of therapeutic services so clients can have their unique needs met. For instance, some of the therapies we offer include:

  • Breathwork therapy
  • Trauma-informed therapy
  • Motivational interviewing therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Experiential therapy

These are just a few of the therapies we offer. By providing numerous options, clients are poised to succeed and heal. If you or a loved one has been dealing with the effects of alcohol and depression, reach out and give us a call at 615.455.3903 and talk with someone today. Our Master’s level therapists are highly trained and ready to help you get back on track to your future. Don’t wait another day.

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