There is a correlation between depression and alcohol abuse. One does not necessarily cause the other, but those who exhibit alcoholism are likely to have clinical depression. Likewise, those who abuse alcohol have likely dealt with depression symptoms or are currently doing so.
Although alcohol addiction and depression may not cause each other, alcoholism will impact the symptoms of depression. It can make the symptoms stronger, longer lasting, and more difficult to recover from.
Symptoms of Depression that is Affected by Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant. This means it reduces nervous system functioning and the production of certain chemicals in the brain. Given the name, it is perhaps not surprising that depression has similar effects on your brain and emotions. Combining alcohol and depression will often intensify symptoms of depression including:
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
- Trouble concentrating and remembering details.
- Low energy and excessive sleeping.
- Overeating or not eating enough.
- Restlessness and irritability.
- Increased suicidal thoughts.
Drinking alcohol can also affect your physical health in a way that makes depression symptoms worse, or makes it harder to recover from these symptoms. These physical impacts can include:
- Minimizing stress hormones to make depressive episodes more severe.
- Reducing serotonin and norepinephrine levels, both of which promote happiness.
- Lowers blood sugar which causes headaches, irritability, and poor concentration that are also depression symptoms.
- Interrupts the natural sleep cycle, often compounding depression symptoms with lack of sleep.
Alcohol abuse and depression are both mental health conditions, and both have treatments that can help you recover your mental wellbeing. But when you are experiencing both, the treatment needs to reflect that.
At Aware Behavioral Health in Dallas, we recognize that drinking can make depression seem worse, and depression can make you feel more reliant on alcohol. We create a treatment plan that addresses the symptoms from each of these disorders, while also taking into account your overall mental and physical health. In short, we see our patients are more than a diagnosis and make it our goal to help you achieve your best possible overall health. For depression or alcohol abuse treatment in Dallas, set up an appointment with us today.