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Alcohol and depression have an interdependent relationship. Many people take to alcohol to get over traumatic life events such as a breakup, loss of a job, or the death of a closed one. It may seem to work since it helps to relieve your anxiety. 

Having a drink once in a while to relieve stress is fine, but when it becomes a habit to resort to alcohol to resolve a conflict, then it may cause alcoholic depression symptoms. Again, drinking can also be a factor that brings in depression.

A research journal published by  Hindawi says – The most common factor that generates alcohol addiction is depression. The individual who encounters depression often moves to alcohol abuse. Over time, the bond between depression and alcohol enhances to be an inseparable unit. Eventually, the individual becomes addicted.

You might think it will ease the pain, indeed help you escalate you from reality for a while. Are you still thinking alcohol is the best self-medication for depression? Alcohol is just short-term relief, as per the experts- Drinking alcohol never cures depression rather it exacerbates the condition.

Since drinking and depression are so closely related, let’s look at the two aspects in greater detail.

Does Depression Lead to Drinking? 

Research finds out that almost one-third of people suffering from chronic depression have an alcohol addiction problem. Unfortunately, drinking has a debilitating effect on people with depression. Depressed people who consume alcohol as a way to feel better suffer from post-alcohol depression which also increases the chances of suicidal thoughts. Finally, alcohol can also reduce the effectiveness of antidepressants, compounding the depressive tendencies. 

Does Drinking Lead to Depression? 

Alcohol can act as a depressant. That’s why drinking too much alcohol can make you feel blue. This affects your moods and can make you feel depressed. It can also lead you to make terribly bad decisions or take impulsive actions. This may affect your job or relationships as well. 

What Causes Alcohol Depression? 

It’s often difficult to figure whether alcohol causes depression or vice versa. Researchers find that it’s linked to genetics in the brain that affects functions such as memory and attention. Again social environment and lifestyle play a big role too. For example, childhood traumas can be a leading cause of depression.

Some behavioral symptoms of alcoholic depression include:

  • Unusual fluctuations in mood
  • Preoccupied with drinking
  • Legal issues related to alcohol
  • Loss of engagement in relationships
  • Social isolation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Suicide thoughts

Some of the long-term consequences include:

Alcohol can drive towards:

  • Psychosis –  listening voices when there is nobody there
  • Dementia – memory loss, slightly like Alzheimer’s
  • Physical – damage to organs, like liver, brain, and stomach.

By implementing the right treatment options ceasing down the severity of the alcohol depression is possible. Furthermore, the earlier treatment can enhance the better. Speaking about the treatments and therapies, which differs from person to person according to their severity and appetite. Some of the effective therapies are,

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

It is an effective treatment for depression. Unlike other psychotherapy, CBT is short-term and strategic. Here the thinking pattern and behaviors of the individuals will be the target, the underlying reasons behind alcohol addiction will be addressed.

It’s a blend of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. While cognitive therapy focuses on your moods and thoughts, behavioral therapy focuses on actions and behaviors. In the case of CBT, you communicate with your therapist in a structured setting and your therapist works on your negative thought patterns and behavioral responses to various situations causing stress and anxiety.


The process of preparing the body to clean up from all the traces of alcohol. The method usually takes about 7-10 days. But in some cases, the period of stay varies with respect to factors such as addiction history, severity, mental behavior, etc. Alcohol detoxification will perform in rehab centers through detox programs and medications by the professionals.


There are three common forms of biofeedback therapy:

  • Thermal biofeedback which measures skin temperature
  • Electromyography which measures muscle tension
  • Neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback that focuses on electrical brain activity. 

Therapy sessions last about 30 minutes to an hour and are composed to provide recovering individuals with a psychological advantage to beat their addictions. Here the electronic sensors are fixed on a patient’s body to observe the exact read on an individual’s “bio” signs.

During biofeedback therapy, the therapist places electrodes on the patient’s skin which, in turn, sends information to a monitoring box. By reading the monitor, the therapist suggests techniques and relaxation techniques to help maintain body functions.

Holistic Therapy:

This therapy that entirely focuses on the overall well-being of the individual. The holistic therapies include yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, and guided meditation which reduces the physical symptoms of the alcohol withdrawal.

It also involves healthy eating which means choosing certain diets and avoiding others. For example, processed foods and sugary drinks as they can have a negative effect on your mood and energy levels.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET):

This therapy encourages individuals to be motivated mentally to adjust and improve their thought and behavior patterns connected to addiction. The individual will mature be more empowered to engage in treatment and stopping their alcohol usage.

Family Therapy:

This therapy includes the participation of family members such as a spouse, parent, sibling, etc to support the individual’s recovery.

Group therapy:

This is one of the common and effective therapy. A group of individuals was allowed to exchange their thoughts, feeling, suffering and recovering techniques to the other individuals.  

Get Help

Alcoholism and Alcohol-induced depression are like any other disease. It is treatable and seeking help can ensure a better quality of life. It’s never too late for recovery, reach out to Cadabam’s Rehab @ +91 96111 94949.