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Treatment for Alcoholism and Depression

Did you know that alcoholism and depression can co-exist? Excessive alcohol consumption can often have depression as the underlying cause of the drinking. And because alcohol is one of the easiest drugs to obtain, this can make it a go-to choice for those who are struggling with depression.

Similarly, drinking itself can cause symptoms of depression. 

The good news is that professional treatment can significantly help. By getting to the root of the issue and treating both depression and alcoholism, individuals can have a new lease on life. 

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that affects how people think, feel, and act. There are many different types of depression, all of which are serious and also treatable. However, without treatment, depression can lead to complications including suicidal feelings or attempts, physical pain or illness, social anxiety, conflicts with family and personal relationships, and many other complications that can make life difficult. 

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, occurs when individuals have difficulty controlling their drinking. It can involve binge drinking (drinking excessive amounts in a short period of time), drinking even when it negatively impacts your health, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when going a short period of time without drinking. 

Alcoholism can create significant issues in your life and is a serious concern that needs professional treatment. 

What is Alcoholism?

Symptoms of depression/depressive disorders and alcoholism will vary from person to person but often include the below.
Symptoms of depression can include feeling:

Symptoms of alcohol use disorder might include:

Types of Depressions

There are many types of depression, all of which can occur in individuals with alcoholism. They include Seasonal Affective Disorder, Psychotic Depression, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Postpartum Depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

This type of depression is related to changes in season, which means it will often begin and end at the same time each year. Many people experience SAD in the winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight (but it can occur any time of year).

Symptoms often include sleeping more than usual, having low energy, and feeling sad. Some individuals will drink alcohol as a way to cope with the changes in mood and sadness. But because alcohol is a depressant, this only ends up making symptoms worsen and creating a cycle of depression and drinking.

Psychotic Depression

This type of depression includes hallucinations and delusions, as well as incoherent speech, and an increased risk of suicide. Some individuals with psychotic depression might drink excessive amounts of alcohol to “quiet” the thoughts or hallucinations.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Also known as dysthymia, this type of depressive disorder occurs when depression symptoms last for two years or longer. Symptoms include sadness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, and many others.

The symptoms can vary from week to week and person to person. Individuals with this type of depression might turn to alcohol to try and improve their mood and/or to make them more social.

Major Depression

Major Depression includes feelings of extreme sadness, low energy, recurring thoughts of suicide, changes in mood, and many others. Similar to other types of depression, people who experience this depression might drink alcohol regularly in an attempt to feel better.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression occurs from changes in hormones associated with pregnancy and giving birth.

Additional Conditions that Can Cause Depression and Alcoholism

The following mental health conditions can cause depression and alcoholism:

Bipolar Disorder

It can be difficult to distinguish between bipolar disorder and depression. Bipolar disorder can include periods of depression, as well as highs (also known as mania).

Cyclothymic Disorder

The symptoms of cyclothymic disorder are similar to bipolar disorder, but typically on a more mild scale.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

While this disorder typically begins in childhood, it can develop into a depressive disorder during adulthood.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

This type of disorder is caused by changes in hormones before a menstrual cycle begins. All of the above co occurring depression conditions and psychiatric disorders can exist with alcoholism. Additionally, alcoholism can worsen the above disorders. A combination of addiction treatment/drug abuse treatment and mental health treatment can treat and address the conditions.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression occurs from changes in hormones associated with pregnancy and giving birth.

How Are Alcoholism and Depression Diagnosed?

Both conditions need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. They will conduct a thorough medical assessment and health history to determine an accurate diagnosis, as well as identify any additional mental health disorders that might be present.

Treatment For Alcoholism and Depression 

Treatment is available for alcoholism and depression. At Gloria Rehab, our alcohol rehab and mental health services provide you with the treatment options you need to live the life you deserve. 

We offer a variety of treatment therapies and programs, including:

Get the Luxury Treatment You Deserve with Gloria Rehab

The best alcohol abuse and depression treatment services are within your reach, and Gloria Rehab is here to help you take hold of your future. Our treatment providers are here to give you a unique and individualized approach to care for alcohol addiction, substance abuse, and any co-occurring disorders such as depression.

Contact us today to begin the treatment process. Our team is also available to answer questions related to your health insurance coverage. 

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Review by: Hasmik Karapetyan, PMHNP, MSN, RN​

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