Successful Treatment for Alcohol and Mood Disorders
Are you struggling with depression, or do you have a loved one who is? If so, it’s important to consider the impact that alcohol has on mental health. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depressive disorders often occur together, making it essential to understand the relationship between these two conditions.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how alcohol can influence depression and examine ways that the programs of recovery at Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada can help!
Depression | Alcohol: A Closer Look
The interplay between severe alcohol and depression abuse is one that is well-known by physicians. Let’s take a look at how these can affect each other.
The Risk of Co-Occurring Disorders
Depressive disorders are common among people who have AUD. According to some estimates, around one-third of people with an AUD also have a major depressive disorder. Clinical and experimental research has also suggested that people who have AUD are more likely to develop a depressive disorder than those without an AUD.
Women may be at greater risk of developing an AUD and depression than men. Women tend to drink less overall but are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol due to differences in body composition and metabolism.
Furthermore, women with pre-existing mental health conditions such as anxiety or major depression may be particularly at risk for developing an AUD if they use alcohol as a means of self-medicating their symptoms.
Depression and Drinking: A Vicious Cycle
Alcohol can have both short-term and long-term effects on mental health. In the short term, alcohol can reduce inhibitions and lead to impulsive behaviors that can ultimately worsen depressive symptoms – such as making reckless decisions or engaging in risky activities. Over time, heavy consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of developing an AUD and depressive disorder.
The alcohol and depression cycle works both ways: individuals with pre-existing depression are more likely to turn to alcohol as a means of self-medicating, which can result in an increased risk of developing an AUD. People with AUD also may find themselves at greater risk for developing a depressive disorder due to the social isolation they experience from their drinking habits and potential legal issues associated with high levels of consumption.
Treating Alcohol Use Disorder and Depression
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol and depression, it’s time to seek help. Many treatment options exist for both disorders, including psychotherapy, medications, and support groups. Make sure you find a mental health professional who specializes in treating co-occurring AUD and depressive disorders.
Working with a qualified clinician can help identify underlying issues that may be contributing to both conditions – such as unresolved trauma or stress – and provide strategies to address them accordingly.
In addition to conventional approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT), many clinicians use evidence-based treatments specifically designed for dual diagnosis patients. These include motivational interviewing (MI) and the Matrix Model, which is a comprehensive approach to treating AUD and depressive disorders that emphasizes education, counseling, and support.
In order for treatment to be effective, individuals with both conditions must also commit to abstaining from alcohol entirely. This can be difficult for many people, but it’s essential for managing mental health issues in the long-term.
Treatment programs such as 12-step groups or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help provide support and accountability during this process of recovery.
Alcohol and Mood: The Bottom Line
Alcohol use disorder and depression often occur together, making it important to understand the relationship between these two conditions. While drinking may temporarily reduce symptoms of depression in the short term, heavy consumption can exacerbate existing mental health conditions and lead to more serious problems such as alcohol dependence or major depressive disorder.
But there is a way out. With the right treatment plan and the help of our team at Icarus in Nevada, you can successfully manage your mental health issues and achieve long-term recovery.
What Causes Alcoholism?
You may be wondering what causes alcoholism, especially if you or someone you know is struggling with problem drinking. While the exact cause of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is not known, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the condition.
Understanding these underlying causes can help provide insight into recovery pathways and preventative measures for AUD.
Research suggests that genetics plays a role in AUD development, as certain genes have been linked to an increased risk of developing the condition. This means that if you have family members who suffer from an alcohol use disorder, your risk of developing one is higher than average.
There are also environmental factors that may put you at risk for AUD, such as growing up in a home where drinking is normalized or living in an area with high rates of alcohol consumption. Other environmental factors include experiencing trauma, having limited access to healthcare and mental health services, or facing economic hardship.
Mental Health Factors
Psychological factors may also contribute to the development of AUD. For example, those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues may be more likely to self-medicate with alcohol abuse in order to temporarily alleviate their depression symptoms. People who struggle with low self-esteem or difficulty managing stress may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Social factors can influence the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder. This includes having close friends or family members who drink heavily or binge drink, spending time in settings where alcohol is available, and being exposed to media that glorifies drinking.
What Psychiatric Disorders Can Cause Alcoholism?
You may be wondering what psychiatric disorders can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD). While not everyone who suffers from a mental health condition will develop AUD, certain psychological issues are correlated with an increased risk for excessive drinking.
Understanding which conditions may put you at greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder can help provide insight into prevention and treatment methods for the condition.
Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder and Other Disorders
Depressive disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), persistent depressive disorder (PDD), or bipolar disorder are often linked to AUD. Those suffering from MDD or persistent depressive disorder may turn to alcohol abuse as a way to cope with their symptoms or disguise feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Unfortunately, this can create a self-perpetuating cycle, as alcohol abuse can worsen major depression symptoms and lead to more serious psychological issues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, which occurs with reduced sunlight and generally happens in wintertime, can also play a part in depressive symptoms.
Like depression, anxiety disorders can also contribute to the development of AUD. Individuals with anxiety may use alcohol to temporarily alleviate feelings of stress or tension. This creates a vicious cycle, as excessive drinking can actually exacerbate existing anxiety issues and make them more difficult to manage in the long term.
Certain personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) are associated with an increased risk for AUD due to the difficulty individuals have managing emotions or forming healthy relationships.
In these cases, alcohol may be used as a way to cope with emotional distress or interact with others in social settings.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Those who have experienced trauma or other profound life events may be at greater risk of developing AUD due to subsequent PTSD symptoms. PTSD can cause pervasive feelings of fear, anxiety, and guilt that individuals may attempt to self-medicate away with alcohol.
Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work in the long term, and can often lead to serious psychological issues such as depression or substance abuse disorders.
How to Reduce the Amount of Alcohol You Drink
If you are feeling depressed or anxious after drinking alcohol, it may be a sign that your drinking habits need to be adjusted. Here are a few tips on how to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink in order to better manage your mental health and overall well-being.
Set Limits for Yourself
The first step is to set limits for yourself when it comes to drinking. This means establishing how much you will drink before stopping and taking regular breaks between drinks. Setting hard limits ahead of time can help ensure that you do not exceed your limit once you start drinking.
Create a Plan
Creating an action plan ahead of time can also be helpful in reducing alcohol consumption. This plan can include strategies like limiting yourself to one or two drinks when out with friends or avoiding drinking alone altogether.
Having a plan in place gives you something to refer back to and keeps you on track for managing your alcohol intake. Consider also having a few alcohol-free weeks.
Engage in Healthy Pursuits
Engaging in healthy pursuits can also help reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Think about activities that make you feel good and distract you from drinking, such as exercise, reading a book, or trying a new hobby. Making time for activities like these is key to creating healthy distractions and avoiding alcohol.
Establish Healthy Relationships
Establishing healthy relationships is another way to reduce your alcohol intake. Connecting with supportive loved ones can provide an escape from drinking and help provide support during difficult times. Finding friends who do not drink or engage in activities that don’t involve alcohol can also be beneficial.
If you feel like your drinking habits have become problematic, it is time to seek help from a qualified addiction and mental health counselor at Icarus Behavioral Health. We can properly assess your situation and provide advice and resources on how to reduce or eliminate the amount of alcohol you drink in order to better manage your mental health.
What are the Common Symptoms of Depression?
If you’re feeling down and having difficulty enjoying activities that once brought you joy, it could be a sign of depression. Note that everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but when these feelings persist for a long period of time, they may indicate depression.
Other common symptoms of depression include changes in sleeping patterns, a lack of energy and motivation, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, changes in appetite, thoughts of death or suicide, agitation, or restlessness.
Depression can manifest itself differently depending on the individual; however, some physical symptoms may also be present such as headaches and stomachaches. In addition to these more common signs, other symptoms of depression can include irritability, social withdrawal, and a general lack of interest in life. As depression progresses, it can become more severe and lead to further complications.
There is no shame in asking for assistance and being honest with our Admissions team about how you are feeling. It takes courage to reach out, but talking to someone can be an important first step to getting better.
Get Support and Recovery from Alcohol and Depression
The combination of alcohol and depression is a dangerous one. If you drink alcohol while you are depressed, there is a much greater chance that you will become dependent. If this has become a reality for you or a loved one, help is here and waiting.
Make the confidential call today and get help for depression and alcohol at once with our dedicated team of experts at Icarus in Nevada!