These two are the "best" of friends and the outcome of their "friendship" is alcohol depression.
This means that together alcohol and depression are your worst enemies. If you are depressed you should not drink alcohol, for many reasons.
One of them is that people who experience alcohol problems have the highest rates of depression. Other reasons will be discussed in this article, as well as some misconceptions regarding the connection between alcohol and depression.
Before we talk about alcohol and depression it is good to know few things about alcohol.
What is alcohol?
Alcohol can be many things. To some people it is a way to relax and have fun over the weekend. To some others it is the substance that is killing them.
What is alcohol to you?
Alcohol is similar to a fire. It can be a good servant but it also can be a horrible and merciless master. For example if you drink alcohol moderately with your friends on Friday night you could have a great time (provided you don’t drive).
This is because alcohol makes our brain “friendlier”, emotions are more easily expressed, and the boundaries of behavior are expanded. However, if you drink too much, or if you drink every day, alcohol will take over control of your life.
Once in control, alcohol starts poisoning your body and mind. It reduces serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine level (neurotransmitters in your brain); sometime it has a toxic effect on neurotransmitters. Once the serotonin level drops depression can quickly settle in.
Alcohol and depression can lead to suicide. This is why you should never drink if you are depressed. In fact the last thing you should do if depressed is to drink alcohol because alcohol is a depressant!
Are you willing to sacrifice your life to alcohol?
In summary alcohol can be an aphrodisiac, a tranquilizer or a poison; and many things in between. The best thing is if alcohol is nothing. It becomes nothing once you stop consuming it. Life can be very exciting and fulfilling without one single drop of alcohol.
Remember the more you drink alcohol the less control you have over your life
Why should you not drink alcohol when depressed?
First of all alcohol is a depressant. It depresses the brain and nervous system which makes you feel even worse and more depressed.
Alcohol lowers the level of neurotransmitters such as serotonin which makes a person vulnerable to depression or, if already depressed, more depressed.
Alcohol disrupts sleep and thinking processes, which can increase the risk and the severity of depression.
Alcohol can activate a gene that is linked to depression as well as other mental illnesses.
Alcohol and depression problems often go together. This means that if you have an alcohol problem there is a good chance you suffer from depression as well. On the other side if you are depressed consuming alcohol will make you even more depressed.
This is a good place to mention that there is a strong sex difference in order of onset. In males alcoholism usually precedes depression and in women the reverse is true.
An alcohol depression is a depression that is caused by alcohol abuse. This depression is very common for men. The statistics say that in men alcohol abuse precedes depression in about 80% of cases.
This does not mean that women don’t suffer from an alcohol depression however the way of developing an alcohol depression in women is usually different from the one in men. A woman can first be depressed and than start drinking alcohol which deepens her depression and eventually becomes an alcohol depression.
The solution to an alcohol depression is not “just” stopping drinking but an entire change in life style. It is difficult to stop drinking but very accomplishable if you really want to do it and have the proper support. Also, it is always good to be in therapy and educate yourself as much as possible.
Alcohol is neither a cure for depression nor a medication for any other illness. Some people drink alcohol when stressed, sad or anxious believing that they will feel better. In the end they never do. Whenever you reach for a glass, remember that alcohol is not a part of the solution but part of the problem.
Alcoholics cannot stop drinking on their own. The therapy and support is essential to their recovery.
The relationship between alcohol and depression is very strong. In most cases an alcoholic suffers from depression and needs to be treated for both illnesses (alcoholism and depression). If you are depressed you should never drink alcohol because it will make your depression more severe. Alcohol and depression should never be mixed because they make one deadly cocktail.
Read some emotional, true stories on alcohol and depression: