There are two diagnoses of alcoholic depression: primary alcoholism with secondary depression and primary depression with secondary alcoholism. Looking at the statistics, only about 10% of people suffering from alcoholic depression have the onset of their illness in depression. The vast majority of people deal with the problem of depression only during the addiction period. Men are more likely to develop alcohol-related depression, although there is alarming data on the growing number of women with mental disorders and simultaneous alcoholism.
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Alcohol depression is a mental disorder in which alcohol plays a role. Apart from the symptoms typical of depression (depression, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, pessimism, guilt, suicide attempts, inability to experience pleasure, etc.), there is a strong addiction to alcohol. In this situation, depression affects alcoholism and drinking alcohol affects depression.
Depression can both cause problems with alcoholism and develop as a complication of alcoholism. Depression in comparison with alcohol is much more difficult to cure, so in order to win against it, you need not only the patient’s willingness and will, but also the support of his relatives.
Alcohol Depression – Symptoms
Symptoms of alcohol depression can vary from one situation to another. When depression occurs at the time of a sudden withdrawal from alcohol, we are dealing here with the symptoms characteristic of the withdrawal syndrome. They occur within the first 36 hours of abruptly stopping alcohol.
These are, among others stress, irritability, insomnia, headaches, tremors, apathy, lack of appetite and in severe cases also: hallucinations, disturbance of consciousness, anxiety, delusions. Despite sudden and distressing symptoms, this type of alcohol depression is usually not treated and resolves on its own.
Secondary alcoholic depression is a state of very malaise, which consists of such feelings as: deep pessimism, depression, insomnia, lack of meaning in life, slowdown, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, fatigue, lack of appetite, feeling of guilt, anxiety, lack of pleasure in performing activities that have so far enjoyed. Consequently, this may lead to suicide attempts – also with the use of alcohol.
Alcohol Depression – Treatment
Treating alcoholic depression is not easy. Often times, symptoms of depression are well masked by alcoholism problems and are difficult to distinguish between them. The most important thing in treating alcoholic depression is to do it in two ways – it must address both depression and alcoholism. The fight must therefore be fought against addiction and mental disorders. Although it is difficult, it is the only solution that can effectively combat the disease.
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It should be borne in mind that alcoholism has no cure. The goal of treating alcoholic depression is therefore to achieve permanent abstinence and regain the joy of life without alcohol. Treatment is most often carried out through pharmacologically supported psychotherapy.
The more difficult group with alcoholic depression to cure are those who suffer from the secondary form of this disease, i.e. mental disorders that appeared at the time of their addiction. Addiction to alcohol is extremely destructive here. The very course of the disease can be very severe and may result in a disability or death as a result of suicide attempts (this is how about 12% of severe alcohol depressions end).
Depression in this case is very deep, much deeper than in non-drinkers. The reason why treatment is a huge challenge here is the widespread reluctance and distrust of doctors towards doctors.
In addition, there are also problems with taking medications (forgetfulness, intolerance or serious complications related to the simultaneous drinking of alcohol and taking medications). There is a high probability of damage to the brain and various internal organs.