depression and alcohol abuse

Studies published in Psychology Today estimate that almost 50% of people in treatment for alcoholism experience co-occurring depression. Alongside this, the article reports that for those who are being treated for depression, nearly 40% will also struggle with an alcohol use disorder at some point within their lifetime.

Difficulties arise when trying to assess the order that these two disorders appear. This is because they can each influence the other and it becomes a muddy picture when trying to determine which disorder is primary and which is secondary. However, it has been seen that for those with secondary depression see the depression symptoms resolve significantly after days or weeks of abstinence.

Typically, however, those suffering from the symptoms of depression will use alcohol to self medicate the discomforts associated with it. As the depression lingers and alcohol use increases in tandem with tolerance, alcohol addiction or dependency can result.

9 Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Based on the number of symptoms of alcohol use disorder, the individual will be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe AUD. These symptoms may include:

  • The inability to control the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Unsuccessful attempts at quitting or limiting alcohol intake
  • Overwhelming alcohol cravings
  • Increased alcohol tolerance, resulting in higher consumption
  • Ignoring responsibilities and obligations
  • Loss of interest in social activities or hobbies 
  • Continuing to drink despite the apparent negative consequences
  • Engaging in high risk behaviors while intoxicated
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking

9 Symptoms of Depression

There are nine diagnostic criteria to determine if someone has clinical depression. If the person displays five or more of these signs of depression that last for two weeks or more, they receive a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. These symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or despair
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems (such as insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • Slowed cognitive and motor skills
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Weight change
  • Trouble with decision making or concentration
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies normally enjoyed
  • Suicidal thoughts

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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