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Alcoholism and Depression: Deadly, Yet Treatable

Posted: January 12, 2015 by in Recovery Treatment Place

alocohol and depression

Do you believe depression is related to sadness? Many individuals do, yet this is a common misconception.

Depression is not something you can simply snap out of. Depression is a reoccurring state of mind, an issue that can feel like a constant yo-yo effect between times of feeling normal and times of battling the illness. It can strike anybody any time regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic background.

When depression goes untreated it can negatively influence thoughts, emotions and behavior. Many people attempt to self-medicate with alcohol, which turns into a dangerous double edged sword. The suicide of the famous actor/comedian Robin Williams brought the illness of depression into the national public eye and his death should encourage people suffering from depression to reach out for help.

In the United States, approximately 25 million people battle with depression and just half will get helpful treatment. Around 17 million individual are struggling with alcohol addiction. Combine this with depression and the two become a destructive force.

The Relation between Depression and Alcoholism

Depression and alcohol addiction are both a mental illness. Treating both co-occurring problems is a fairly recent development so much of the research on depression and alcohol abuse is still in the first stages.

There are obvious connections between the two illnesses, however, the degree to which depression triggers alcoholism, or alcoholism triggers depression is still unknown.

What is known based on the recent research is that individuals with alcoholism are 3.9 times more prone to have depression. As indicated by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 28 percent of Americans with alcohol addiction have a significant depressive disorder.

It’s similarly clear that hereditary genes play a role in both alcohol addiction and depression. The genes that make somebody powerless against depression are the same genes that make somebody more inclined towards alcohol abuse. Life stressors can also trigger depression and alcohol abuse. For example, traumatic experiences such as a complicated break-up or divorce, the loss of a friend or family member or financial ruin.


What’s the Greatest Way to Treat Both Disorders?

As with most co-occurring issue, the best approach is to treat alcohol addiction and depression simultaneously. Yet, treating both issues together still represents a considerable challenge because depression can reappear sporadically which can impede care.

An individual who has received inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse but still battles with depression could think that it is too hard to proceed with their recovery if the depression continues to go untreated. Without the correct ongoing treatment, it’s easy to get pulled back into the endless loop of alcoholism and depression once more.

The sooner someone gets treatment for both issues, the better. People are more prone to recover from both disorders if they seek out treatment when symptoms show up.

At the alcohol rehab center they can help break the cycle of depression and alcohol abuse by including individual counseling, group therapy, outpatient care and access to 12-step programs.

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