Alcohol is a drug that can cause numerous physical, emotional, and social problems. Depression is a serious mental disorder that also interferes with these aspects of people’s lives. Because of their connection, the combination of alcohol and depression can wreak havoc. However, treatment is available no matter how severe these issues get.
As a controlled substance, alcohol affects the central nervous system. Because of that, it slows physical and mental processes. These effects are the reason why people lose coordination and slur their speech when they drink. Although alcohol can have health benefits in moderation, its effect on the brain can lead to addiction.
Experts define depression as an ongoing period of sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. In most cases, people who experience it have no energy, while some may become suicidal. Although there isn’t one cause, some factors include personal traits, living and working environments, and genetics. Also, there are many levels of depression, including:
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Major depressive disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
In any of these cases, a depression treatment program is essential to recovery. However, not everyone gets the help that they need.
The Connection Between Alcohol and Depression
There’s a very close relationship between depression and alcohol. Firstly, depression can lead to alcohol abuse when people don’t get proper help for the disorder. Instead, they self-medicate with alcohol to cover up their sadness and emotional pain.
Unfortunately, alcohol has the opposite effect. As a depressant, it increases the severity and duration of depressive episodes. It also has the same impact on suicidal thoughts. Alcohol even creates stress in people’s lives by damaging relationships and causing poor career performance.
Secondly, alcohol is a contributor to depression. With prolonged alcohol abuse, this drug causes chemical changes throughout the body. When it affects neurotransmitters, it changes how the brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals. These changes make the brain vulnerable to developing depression.
Treatment for Depression and Alcohol Use
There’s still hope for people who develop alcohol use disorder and depression. However, the sooner that they seek treatment, the greater the chance that they have for long-term recovery.
Because of the nature of alcohol and depression disorders, people need to treat them at the same time. The best way to do that is with dual diagnosis treatment. Under optimal circumstances, they should go to a treatment center that provides both detox and rehab. After their stay, the facility can help them transition back into life at home.
Finding Dual Diagnosis Treatment
If you have depression and alcohol use disorder, help is available at Pillars Recovery. We offer a detox program to help you stop drinking and dual diagnosis treatment to address your depression. In our many rehab programs, we use a variety of services such as:
- Individual therapy and group counseling
- Acupuncture and massage
- Art therapy
- Family and marriage therapy
- Recreational activities
- Transitional living
Put an end to the cycle that alcohol and depression have created in your life. Get treatment today at our facility. Dial 866-782-0247 to learn more about our recovery programs.