According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in things that once brought the suffer pleasure.[i] This lack of enthusiasm and zest for life’s pleasures is also combined with pervasive, unshakable feelings of worthlessness and suffering. One of the main differences between feeling sad and struggling with depression is that sadness is temporary and gets better over time, but major depression tends to worsen as time goes on. Two or more weeks of symptoms that impede basic everyday functioning can be classified as clinical depression.[ii]
Depression and Alcohol Treatment in Rehab
Depression doesn’t cause addiction, but it does raise the risk for substance abuse and dependency which can develop into addiction very easily. Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant and can significantly worsen the symptoms of depression, especially during periods of withdrawal. Medically supervised detox in a rehab facility can lower the risk of developing depression from alcohol withdrawal. A medically-supervised detox program helps patients cope with withdrawal symptoms in healthy and safe ways. Doctors and nurses trained in addiction treatment offer round-the-clock care for patients during detox. Patients who have gone through medically-supervised detox as part of their treatment plan have a greater rate of recovery success that those who try to detox on their own.
Although it is unclear the exact link between alcoholism and depression, that the two often go hand-in-hand is clear. The following are other facts related to depression and alcoholism:
- The risk for developing depression or alcoholism is higher for people with family members that suffer from these disorders.
- Young people experiencing clinical depression are twice as likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as their peers who are not depressed.
- Using drugs or alcohol interferes with accurate diagnosis of depression, leaving the real problem hidden and often untreated.
- Hiding the use of drugs or alcohol interferes with an accurate diagnosis of addiction, creating dangerous interactions with antidepressant medications.
- Alcohol triggers depressive episodes that are more frequent and more severe than non drug-related depression.
- Higher Risk of Suicide
- Psychiatric evaluations following unsuccessful suicide attempts commonly reveal major depression and substance abuse as the culprit.
If you or a loved one are experiencing impaired judgment and self-control combined with feelings of unending despair, get medical attention immediately. Even those who do not struggle with a high degree of depression may find themselves feeling suicidal when they go on a drinking binge because of the depressive qualities of alcohol. Pouring alcohol onto a situation that is depressing or using alcohol when you already suffer from depression adds fuel to an already out-of-control fire.
Rehab at The Canyon
The Canyon offers personalized, self-directed treatment options to fit your individual needs and pace for recovery. The gorgeous surroundings and serene landscape offer a harmonious way to reorient yourself to the outside world. Group therapies, individual counseling and aftercare management are available to help you get back on your feet and become an active participant in your life again. One call to The Canyon can help you get started.
[i] The Mayo Clinic. “Depression (Major Depressive Disorder),” July 7, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977
[ii] National Institute of Mental Health. “Depression,” Last revised October 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
[iii] WebMD. “Alcohol and Depression,” September 12, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/alcohol-and-depresssion#1