Depression: Before, During, and After Alcohol Use

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use and depression are linked in many different ways. The incidents of depression are seen before someone starts drinking, while they are drinking, and in physical changes in the brain after stopping alcohol.

Depression as a Reason to Use Alcohol

Many people who use alcohol do so because they think that it makes them happy. In reality, alcohol is a very strong depressant. If you have ever sat with a drunken friend as they cried, you know this.

You might have started crying while drunk yourself. Many people who drink start doing so because they think that it will stop them from being depressed. Unfortunately, before they realize it, they are addicted.

Another correlation between alcohol and depression is self medication. Many alcoholics suffer from depression before they start drinking. The drinking is a way to make the depression stop. They are willing to sacrifice their health, jobs, family, and friends to get the depression to lift only for a little while.

Once they start self medicating with alcohol, they also start on the road to being an alcoholic. It might work for a little while, but soon the alcohol takes over and they end up more depressed than they started out.

Alcohol is a Depressant

Depression

Long term alcohol use can lead to permanent depression and anxiety disorders.

While you are drinking, you become depressed. Alcohol causes your brain to release chemicals that simulate a depressive episode. This is why many people are unhappy when they drink. They cry, dwell on their problems, and are generally sad. Although some people are considered happy drunks most alcoholics get angry, aggressive, or sad.

While you are drinking you are more likely to suffer from a depressive episode. The chemical reaction is not preventable no matter what kind of alcohol you drink or how hard you try to remain happy.

Depression and Anxiety as a Short and Long Term Problem after Stopping Alcohol Use

One of the main short term and long term issues with alcoholism is depression. Once you stop drinking you are subjected to both depression and anxiety while you come off the alcohol. Many people become suicidal as they go through withdrawal.

This depression and anxiety can become permanent parts of your personality. Many people do not realize that alcohol causes chemical and physical changes in the brain. Although it takes a long time, these changes can become permanent and many alcoholics wind up on medication for depression after they stop their alcohol use.

Many doctors and counselors who treat alcoholism recognize depression is a side effect of alcoholism and will treat it accordingly. Fortunately, there are many different treatments for the depression that coincides with alcoholism and alcohol addiction.

How to Find Treatment for Alcoholism

There are many types of treatment for alcoholism and alcohol related depression. The best treatment is to get help before you have permanent symptoms of depression due to alcoholism. For more information on treatment call us at 800-839-1686Who Answers?.

Avoiding the Post Holiday Blues without Alcohol

How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

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For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.