In many cultures, alcohol is a substance that is frequently used and is seen as a social drink. However, while in some settings, alcohol may seem like a harmless social lubricant, it can have many negative effects on the body and mind. Excessive consumption or irresponsible use of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and other illnesses and can exacerbate the risk and symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression.
We’ll look specifically at the impact that alcohol can have on depression and whether this is something that could, in fact, make the symptoms of depression worse.
How Can Alcohol Make Depression Worse?
There are a few main reasons why alcohol can make the symptoms of depression worse.
- Creating an imbalance in the body: Regular drinking can reduce the level of the body’s neurotransmitters, which results in less stability and balance in the mood. In turn, this can cause people to feel anxious, irritable, tired, and moody – which can ultimately develop into depression in the long term or exacerbate existing mental health conditions.
- Can lead to isolation: Humans are social creatures, and spending too much time alone could lead to depression and feelings of extensive isolation. Drinking alcohol in excess could lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alone at home, and people struggling with alcohol dependency might not want to spend time socializing with others.
- Disrupting circadian rhythm: Even one night of drinking can impact your sleep and cause you to either sleep deeper or lighter than you otherwise might. Drinking too much alcohol regularly can cause severe disruption to your circadian rhythm and lead to insomnia or other sleeping problems. Poor sleep can impact many aspects of your health, including mental health.
- Financial stress: Alcohol comes with a price tag, and too much of it could put you in financial difficulty. Some people who consume too much alcohol may find themselves struggling to continue affording their habit. This can lead to frustration, anxiety, and low mood, which can ultimately lead to depression. People already suffering from depression may find that financial stress worsens their symptoms.
Managing Depression and Alcohol Dependency
Luckily, there is a range of tools that people can draw on to help them manage symptoms of depression and overcome alcohol dependency. These include therapies and strategies that you can use at home. Finding ways that work for you may take some time, but many people have had success in managing their symptoms and living healthier life.
Here are some of the things that might help in managing depression and dealing with alcohol dependency.
Therapy: Going to therapy sessions on a regular basis could help you to feel more connected and supported. The type of therapy you choose will depend on what you are trying to achieve and how your symptoms are impacting you. For example, talking therapies are designed to help people feel supported and listened to on a one-to-one basis, while some group therapies might be suitable for people who want to meet other people with similar struggles.
Be honest about your situation: Be honest with yourself about your symptoms and how they are affecting you. This will help you to find the best type of support for you.
Speak to a trusted friend: Confiding with a trusted friend or family member can help you to feel less isolated when struggling with depression or alcohol dependency.
Getting Support With Depression
People struggling with depression in Pinellas County can find professional support with TMS Advantage. TMS therapy could be the perfect solution to help you feel supported as you deal with symptoms of depression.
Picture Credit: Freepik