Does depression lead to drinking or does drinking lead to depression? Having a drink when you are feeling down doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an alcoholic or that you are depressed. The truth is there really is no clear-cut answer.
What we do know is that there is a strong link between alcohol use and depression; both share common risk factors. If you are using alcohol on a regular basis as a coping mechanism, you may have a problem. Especially if your use is increasing over time.
People who suffer from depression will often turn to alcohol as a way to numb their pain. It can feel like a shield protecting them from reality. However alcohol actually worsens depression because it depresses the brain and nervous system. Once the alcohol wears off, the person is left feeling even worse than before.
One study looked at people who consumed one drink a day. After three months abstinence, their scores on standard depression inventories improved.
Alcohol also impairs our judgment and increases our need for impulsive actions. This may be why some people turn to alcohol; they see it as an excuse to use bad judgment and act in ways they normally would not.
If you think your depression is causing you to drink, you might want consider talking to someone. You can do a self-assessment with this private online quiz:
Acknowledging you may need help is never easy, but getting help can bring about tremendous positive changes in your life.
A member of our staff will be happy to talk to you about any of our programs and help guide you towards the appropriate treatment.
Call our main office at (877) 874-6222 or (203) 792-4515 or visit us online at: MCCAOnline.com