10 Links Between Alcohol & Depression

links between alcohol and depression

If you’ve ever wondered whether alcohol causes depression, the answer is that it certainly can for some people. The depression alcohol connection is very strong.

Not only can alcohol-induced depression occur when a person is intoxicated, but it can also set in the day after drinking as well. Furthermore, people who suffer from alcoholism are at an increased risk of developing a depressive disorder.

Also, people who suffer from depression often turn to alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate, which can have extremely harmful consequences.

If you are suffering from depression and alcohol addiction, rehab or detoxing are usually the most common recommended action.

Here are some important alcohol and depression facts:

While many people believe that alcohol is likely to improve their mood, this does not always end up being the case. In many cases, one can be more negative in their thinking after having too much to drink, which is especially true for people who are already suffering from an episode of depression. However, this is only one part of the link between alcohol and depression.

2. Alcohol can have long-lasting impacts on your mood

Many people find that they experience depression after drinking alcohol the next day, which can lead to a vicious cycle of experiencing depression after alcohol from the hangover and drinking again as a result.

Not only can alcohol depression hangover symptoms lead to continued drinking, but they can also decrease motivation. Many people who suffer from chronic alcoholism develop long-lasting depressive symptoms.

3. Depression after giving up alcohol is not permanent

Many people who are considering quitting alcohol worry that they’ll experience long-term depression as a result of quitting. While many people who quit alcohol do find that they experience a feeling of depression initially, this is usually quite short-lived and often is connected to withdrawal symptoms. In fact, most people who quit alcohol find that they’re in a much better emotional state as a result of having quit.

4. It’s estimated that 30-40% of alcoholics are clinically depressed

While 30-40 per cent of people suffering from alcoholism are struggling with clinical depression, less than 10 percent of the general population is clinically depressed. Clearly, there is a very strong link between alcoholism and depression, which goes in two directions.

People who are struggling with alcoholism often have problems that arise in their life as a result of alcohol abuse, such as difficulties with employment and relationships. This can exacerbate depression greatly and even cause it. Also, some people who are suffering from chronic depression self-medicate with alcohol.

5. Studies have shown that alcohol increases the length and severity of depression episodes

Research has shown that alcohol use makes people with clinical depression more depressed, and it extends the amount of time that the episodes of depression last. Not only can alcohol use lead to more severe depression, but people who are suffering from clinical depression and abuse alcohol are at a greater risk of suicide.

Alcohol and depression NHS research shows that alcoholism can be exceptionally dangerous for people with clinical depression and it also shows that the link between alcohol and depression and anxiety is quite strong.

6. Alcoholism can cause depression

In some cases, an individual who was not depressed prior to developing an addiction to alcohol will develop chronic depression as a result. In fact, alcohol can actually change the way that the brain functions, which can make an individual more susceptible to depression.

Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal depression can be severe, and depression caused by alcohol is often impossible to treat unless the alcohol addiction is addressed.

7. Binge drinking can increase your risk of depression

Even if you do not drink every day, binge drinking can have serious impacts on your state of mind. In fact, binge drinking can lead to severe hangovers, which can have a very pronounced impact on your mood. Not only that, but binge drinking can also lead to poor decision making.

This can cause you to make decisions that have the potential to lead to regret and depression from alcohol, which means that depression after alcohol binge drinking can be long-lasting.

8. People who are struggling with alcoholism and depression may not seek help

People who are struggling with depression on its own often do not seek help, and this is especially true among men who are dealing with a depressive episode. Individuals with untreated depression are often much more susceptible to alcoholism.

9. There are many treatment options that you can choose from

In many cases, people who seek help for depression will receive a combination of multiple treatments. While each individual is different and will require a unique treatment approach, these are some of the ways that depression can be treated:


Medications for depression are designed to alter the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain in a manner that leads to improvements in mood. In most cases, medications for depression need to be taken for several weeks in order to be effective.

While medications can be highly beneficial for people who are suffering from depression, alcohol and depression treatment medications are not a good mix. In some cases, there are actually serious interactions between alcohol and depression medication. This is yet another reason why people who are suffering from depression and alcoholism should enter into a programme that treats both substance abuse and depression.


There are different approaches to counselling for depression. The most common approach is cognitive-behavioural therapy. Another common approach is dialectical behaviour therapy.

Support Groups for Depression

There are also support groups for depression, which can be extremely beneficial to individuals who are suffering from it. Not only can these meetings help people develop healthier patterns of thinking, but they can also be a great way to connect with other people.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you are suffering from alcoholism and depression, you may benefit from a rehab program that offers services for people with a dual diagnosis of mental health problems and substance abuse. Luckily, we offer treatment that meets the unique needs of individuals who are suffering from alcoholism and depression simultaneously.

10. It’s important to seek help right away

Depression and alcoholism are a combination that can cause your life to spiral out of control quickly. Not only can it lead to problems with your social life, career, and finances, but alcoholism and depression can be deadly.

Alcoholism can cause severe health problems, and people who are suffering from clinical depression are at an increased risk of suicide.

If you are struggling with depression from alcoholism, you should seriously consider alcohol rehab or an alcohol detox. Even if it seems like you’re unable to escape the vicious cycle that you’ve been caught in, don’t lose hope. Get in touch with us to seek help right away.

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