Alcohol May Increase the Symptoms of Depression

Depression leaves individuals feeling empty of energy and full of hopelessness. Some will unfortunately turn to methods like alcohol or abuse drugs to find a temporary lift out of the darkness; yet, these methods only bind the illness momentarily and over time make the depression worse. Some who suffer from depression use alcohol to help them sleep or for a temporary emotional boost. But researchers have noticed that those with depressive disorders can make their illness worse by drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant which compounds the heaviness of depression. The combination of alcohol and depression is harmful whether the depression or the alcoholism started first. Those who drink heavily are also at risk for depression.

A Depressant That Furthers Depression

Because alcohol is a depressant, it may increase the symptoms of depression. While it may temporarily relieve some stress, it will eventually depress the brain and nervous system. In a study of people who drink alcohol, those who drank heavily had greater symptoms of depression than those who did not. Forty percent of those who drank heavily exhibited symptoms that resembled depression. Only five percent of men and 10 percent of women in this group had depression symptoms when they did not drink heavily. For those who have a family history of depression, drinking alcohol may risk the rise of depression symptoms. Researchers suggest that anyone with a family history of depression or those who have already been diagnosed with depression should refrain from drinking alcohol.

A Vicious Cycle

Drinking to escape depression and becoming depressed after drinking-it is a vicious cycle. Experts suggest that one of the best ways to end the cycle is to find the cause that makes the person drink alcohol heavily. Treating the root cause will help the individual find a purpose and a better way to recovery. Researchers found that those who had what is termed “alcohol depression” were very likely to miss work, have lower productivity at work, have marital problems, and have a higher risk of suicide. Depression can be overcome with treatments such as therapy, medication, or other alternative methods-but drinking alcohol is not one of them. Individuals with depression who already have a tendency to avoid social functions may end up drinking alone with no one to help them monitor the alcohol they are consuming. Others, who attend social gatherings and mask their depression, may drink too much to try and be happy and fun with their friends or co-workers.

Searching for Something Uplifting

Depression can be so crushing individuals may try to alleviate their symptoms by drinking them away. But, there are other ways to recover-for the long term. Seeking help from professionals can guide those with depression towards the right treatment whether it be with medication, therapy sessions, or alternative therapies to try on their own. Researchers suggest that those with depression also look towards physical exercise, meditation, and yoga to lift their emotions. Exercise naturally detoxifies the body and triggers positive receptors in the mind. Through proper treatment, those with depression or alcoholism can find comfort and recovery.

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