Have you ever heard the phrase “drinking down my sorrows”? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. When you feel down, alcohol may indeed temporarily lift your spirits or numb you to your troubles. But there’s a link between your depression and alcoholism you need to know about as you consider your treatment options. If you struggle with both alcohol addiction and depression, dual diagnosis treatment can help. To learn more about this treatment option, contact our North Carolina treatment center today.
Do People with Depression Drink More?
Around the country, many people struggle with both depression and alcoholism. In fact, depression is one of the leading causes of alcohol addiction. Moreover, depressed people who drink are also more likely to commit suicide. That’s because the more you drink, the less likely you are to consider the consequences. Unfortunately, 75% of people who commit suicide have alcohol or other drugs in their bodies.
People with depression who aren’t getting proper treatment may also “self-medicate” with alcohol. However, alcohol only masks the problems and does nothing to treat depression. In fact, drinking alcohol makes prescription anti-depressants as well as other depression treatments less effective. As a result, you drink more alcohol to make up for the fact that your meds aren’t working.
The risks of this are particularly high in teens and young adults. That’s because depression prevalence is high in this group.
Are you under 26? You’re twice as likely to drink if depressed.
Do People with Alcoholism Feel More Depressed?
Here’s the truth about depression and alcoholism. Alcohol is a depressant, not an anti-depressant.
You know this because drinking too much makes you tired. It has these immediate effects. But it also changes your brain in several ways.
First, it shrinks the part of your brain that deals with tough emotions and decision-making. That means it’s harder to process how you’re feeling, leading to mental health and relationship challenges like:
- Mood disorders
- Interpersonal skill problems
Additionally, alcohol messes with your body’s natural relaxation and happiness hormones. As a result, it’s hard for your body to regulate how you feel automatically. So you turn to artificial means.
Finally, it disrupts your sleep. This problem increases stress hormones present in your body. In response to this added stress, a person with depression may try to escape through drinking.
So as you can see, depression and alcoholism are a vicious cycle. But the good news is you can get off of this depression and alcoholism roller coaster for good.
How to Treat Depression and Alcoholism
Because of this vicious cycle, professionals must both together during the treatment. Simultaneous treatment is essential when you’re struggling with depression and alcoholism. If you only get treatment for one condition, the other one will eventually lead you back into the cycle. That’s why many people who have tried to quit drinking before eventually return to the bottle; they don’t have the tools that they need to combat the uninhibited symptoms of depression.
Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both at the same time. As a result, you step out of this nightmare and can begin rebuilding your life.
Red Oak Recovery’s dual diagnosis program offers you the tools you need to restore your life. Our holistic program combines the power of evidence-based treatments with complementing approaches like:
- Nutrition and exercise
- Equine therapy
- Trauma care
We treat you like a whole person with hopes and dreams for a better life in recovery. We work with you to support your efforts to achieve it. So contact Red Oak Recovery today at 828.382.9699 to get on the path to recovery.