the link between alcohol abuse and depression in women

Statistics from the The Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience reports that there is a 1.7-fold greater occurrence of depression among women than men, and more than twice as prevalent among young women under the age of 25. Some of the reasons for these findings include:

  • Hormonal differences – Women may experience more intense mood swings as a result of biological function; also, postmenopausal depression and anxiety are associated with hormonal activity.
  • Women are more sensitive to interpersonal relationship issues than men
  • Women carry a larger amount of responsibility in child rearing, which can become a socioeconomic challenge and limit career options

Alcohol Impacts Women Differently

In addition to being more susceptible to depression, women are also more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Because of a woman’s smaller size and higher fat content, it takes less alcohol to become intoxicated than a man, and longer for it to metabolize. This means that long-term health problems due to alcohol abuse are increased in women.

According to the CDC, alcohol abuse in women leads to higher liver disease rates than men, more damaging brain effects, are at higher risk for heart damage than men, and may be more vulnerable to sexual assault.

Signs of Depression

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair
  • Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies previously enjoyed
  • Decreased cognitive and motor functioning
  • Feelings of guilty or ashamed
  • Conversations about death and/or suicide

Signs of Alcoholism

Symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Increased tolerance that leads to larger alcohol consumption
  • Inability to control drinking
  • Decreased academic or work performance
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Relationships suffering
  • Isolation or withdrawal from family and friends
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol isn’t available

Getting Help For Depression and Alcoholism in Women

The dual diagnosis of depression and alcoholism in women is a serious and complex combination. It is important to select a treatment program that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders simultaneously for the best recovery outcomes. With commitment to recovery it is possible to overcome the dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression, and live a rewarding and productive life.

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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