Alcoholism is a substance use disorder. Often occurring alongside alcohol abuse is depression, a mental health disorder. Although alcoholism and depression are two separate disorders, they frequently go hand-in-hand. It is one reason why addiction treatment centers in Tacoma, WA, and nearby cities run a depression treatment program for men and women addicted to alcohol.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcohol is the most widely available addictive substance in the US legally available to anyone over age 21. The statistics are also revealing. According to the 2017 NSDUH, 14.1 million adults ages 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or addiction. Nine million were men. Alcoholism or alcohol addiction means the drinker is unable to control or stop using the substance on their own. The disorder can affect anyone, including professionals who manage to keep their lives together despite alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism Causes and Effects
Heavy, excessive, and binge drinking are all forms of alcohol abuse leading to addiction. Excessive drinking also has long-term effects, such as brain, heart, and liver damage. Also, alcohol contains toxins resulting in alcohol poisoning and death in an average of 1-in-6 people every day.
Heavy drinking and intoxication have a long list of negative effects. Frequent drunkenness, blackouts, car crashes, job loss, chronic health problems, domestic violence, and homicides are some of them. However, those addicted to alcohol and their loved ones don’t always realize the link between alcoholism and depression. Furthermore, being in a state of depression makes it almost impossible to get over alcoholism without professional treatment.
The Link Between Alcoholism and Depression
High rates of depression are common among individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUD) or dependency. Some studies suggest that depression is also a risk factor or gateway to alcohol use. Someone who is depressed may feel sad, lonely, hopeless, or fearful for weeks, months, or years. Other symptoms include feeling guilty or worthless, insomnia, and loss of interest in things they once enjoyed.
Death of a loved one, divorce, job problems or job loss, reaction to stress, and other difficult situations are common triggers of depression and alcoholism. Often people battling alcoholism get a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Many people develop a drinking habit to suppress emotional pain or ease stress. However, the body and brain get familiar with alcohol.
Over time you will need larger amounts to give you the same feelings of euphoria or escape. This tolerance causes you to grow dependent or addicted to booze. After a while, no amount of drinks will make you feel better. The reason for this is excessive alcohol use changes how the brain functions. It also changes how you think and react. Behavioral changes may include hostility, risk-taking, and isolation.
Treatment for Depression and Alcoholism
Dual diagnosis treatment may be an ideal combination for anyone trying to overcome alcoholism and depression. Dual diagnosis means the client with a substance use disorder is also diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder such as depression. Treating both conditions at the same time seems to be the most effective way to help you or a loved one recover from alcoholism.
Clients who come to Bayview Recovery following an alcohol detox have access to a variety of treatment programs, therapies, and services. Treatment is highly structured and delivered in an outpatient, intensive outpatient (evening schedule), or partial hospitalization setting. Programs include:
- Dual diagnosis therapy
- Individual therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Group therapy and counseling
- 12 Step program
Addiction therapy helps you to see the connection between alcohol use and depression. It teaches you coping strategies and how to resist things, thoughts, behaviors, or settings that trigger your alcohol use. We also have an extended care program (90-days) for those who need to stay in treatment longer. Aftercare programs, such as sober living homes and community sober groups, are other options to help you maintain your sobriety.
Recover from Alcoholism at a Trusted Rehab
Bayview Recovery is a Joint Commission accredited treatment center in Tacoma, WA, serving the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Call us at 855.478.3650 to find out how we can help you beat alcoholism and depression.