June 24, 2017

Does Alcohol Make You Depressed?

Depression is a disease that has been on the rise in recent years.  Depression is a debilitating disease that can leave it’s suffers with severe difficulty in being able to function normally.  Unfortunately, depression and alcohol are often linked with one another even though the two are a dangerous combination.  Excessive alcohol can lead to depression; and prolonged depression can lead a person to turn to alcohol as a way to temporarily numb themselves from the effects of depression.  The irony is that the person is running from depression, yet the drinking is driving them closer to it.

Alcohol is dangerous because many people who are clinically depressed turn to it as a way to ease the symptoms of their depression.  Unfortunately, the alcohol itself works to deepen the depression in the long run because it is a depressant.  It should be obvious that a person who is already depressed should not be taking a depressant; the person who does this may feel better temporarily, but as stated earlier, in the long run their condition will likely worsen.

How alcohol affects depression

The neurotransmitter serotonin plays an important factor in depression.  Studies have shown that those who are diagnosed with depression have lower than normal serotonin levels.  Serotonin, when at normal levels within the body, serves to keep the mood regulated and provides an overall feeling of well being.  Alcohol has been shown to reduce serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the body, which is not good for depression.

Statistics show that anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of those who have an alcohol dependency have experienced clinical depression at some point in their lives.  The risks increase if either depression or alcoholism is present in the person’s family history.  For this reason it is important for an alcoholic with a history of depression in their family to be closely monitored when they try to stop drinking.  The risk for depression is greatest when the person first stops drinking.

Risks of mixing of alcohol and depression

-Depression symptoms may become worse or more exaggerated
-The judgment becomes impaired
-The risk for attempts at suicide increases

Anyone who is consuming excessive amounts of alcohol needs to get treatment immediately, but particularly if they are affected by depression as well.

 

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