At Liberty Bay Recovery in Portland, Maine, our experienced staff understands the problems of depression and addiction and the ways in which to address and help the individual suffering from either or both of them. Using diagnostics, medications, therapy, and consistent communication between the patient and the expert staff, we offer solutions to problems that can seem – to the sufferer – insurmountable.
We are able to prescribe and refill medication for anxiety and depression, but for other mental health concerns we refer out. Certainly, more severe mental health concerns may arise after you have some time clean and sober. If these traits emerge, or they were not disclosed during admission, we do our best to find outside psychiatric help while you are receiving treatment.
A year-long study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health has concluded what many health professionals have suspected for a long time is true: there is a connection between depression and alcoholism. Almost 15,000 people nationwide, none of whom had previously been diagnosed with either clinical depression or alcohol dependency, were interviewed to discuss the symptoms of both categories.
Each participant was interviewed twice, and both interviews – separated by a year-long interval – were used by interviewers to determine if any of the participants exhibited symptoms of either alcohol dependency or depression.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Depression, which may be situational or chronic, is a very common problem in contemporary society, and causes the sufferer to feel emotions such as hopelessness, sadness, fatigue, and a lack of enthusiasm for normal, day-to-day activities. Because depression may impact your entire life – either sporadically or constantly – it is considered to be a serious mental health issue that can benefit greatly from treatment that offers the sufferer the chance to lead a happier, healthier, and more productive and more stable life.
Depression that lasts for extended amounts of time is considered major or clinical depression and is evidenced by a number of recognizable symptoms:
- Sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep enough
- Lack of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
- Feeling like you are stuck in a rut
- Changes in diet, either eating more or eating less than usual
- Lack of energy ranging from listlessness to extreme fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
Description of Alcohol Dependency
While there is some variation in ideas about what constitutes alcohol dependency, there are certain behaviors and/or symptoms that are universal in indicating that there is a problem.
Some of the symptoms to be aware of are the following:
- Alcohol consumption that leads to problems in social, professional, and personal life
- Drinking despite safety and/or health issues (driving while impaired, ignoring a physician’s advice to stop drinking)
- Building up a tolerance so that it requires more alcohol to get drunk than it used to. Conversely, advanced dependence actually causing impairment from smaller amounts of alcohol consumption
- Withdrawal symptoms including some or all of the following: shaking, sweating, elevated heart rate, possible seizures, or hallucinations
- An inability to perform normal work and other activities
- Mood changes including sadness, panic, or rage
- Blackouts that result in the alcoholic having no recollection of what has transpired for a short or long period of time
Connection Between Depression and Alcohol Abuse
If you or a loved one have struggled with alcohol dependency, you may already be aware that using alcohol to avoid difficulties or pain is considered to be self-medicating, and that self-medicating is a temporary and destructive fix that only feeds the destructive cycle. Alcohol is a depressant, so whatever relief from depression is gained through drinking is not only short-lived but is actually likely to increase the depression.
The link between the two conditions established by the Harvard Study also found that interviewees who displayed some symptoms of depression at the first interview were very likely to show signs of alcohol dependency at the second interview conducted a year later. Similarly, patients who evidenced symptoms of alcohol dependency at the first interview were at a higher risk of showing signs of suffering from major depression in the second interview.
The two problems feed on each other. The patient suffering from more severe symptoms of depression had a higher risk of abusing alcohol. And the opposite is also true: patients with symptoms of alcohol dependency had a higher risk of suffering from major depression.
Two other facts that have emerged from the study involve gender and binge drinking. When it comes to a connection between depression and alcohol, women are at higher risk than men to suffer from both. Binge drinking (consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in a short time) can also lead to developing depression. And with binge drinking, it is young people who already suffer from depression who are more likely than their peers to begin abusing alcohol.
It is becoming increasingly evident that when the underlying symptoms of depression are not addressed, the person suffering from depression may turn to alcohol, and clearly, a person suffering from alcohol dependency is a likely candidate for depression.
This is a cycle that is not at all uncommon, and breaking this cycle is something professionals are familiar with handling.
Don’t Wait. Call Today.
The studies confirming the link between depression and alcoholism make it clear that it is crucial to get proper treatment for these symbiotic conditions. If left untreated, addiction will not cure itself; instead, it will grow to the point that it can and will override all the positive and important things in your life and in the lives of your loved ones.
You are not alone in this battle for recovery. Our recovery counselors are knowledgeable and experienced and can help an individual suffering from these debilitating problems end these addictions and move forward with a happier, healthier, more productive life.
Liberty Bay Recovery works with many insurance companies such as Cigna, Aetna, Humana, United Health Care, Government Employee Health Association (GEHA), Harvard Pilgrim, and more. We also offer affordable self-pay options.
Contact Liberty Bay Recovery
Rehab is the best, most successful way to break the terrible cycle of depression and alcohol dependence. If you or a loved one is suffering from either or both of these conditions, contact Liberty Bay Recovery in Portland, Maine for a consultation. Don’t put it off. The sooner these problems are treated, the sooner a realistic solution and a new life can begin.