Most of us know that alcohol consumption has a number of side effects and chronic abuse of alcohol can have even more devastating consequences. One of the issues that many may be concerned about is the link between alcohol and depression in men and how prevalent it may or may not be.
In this post we’ll explore the nature of both alcoholism and depression and how the two are related and interact with one another. Abuse of alcohol is only one part of the equation though, as outside stressors, health factors and other issues can also contribute to the rate of depression.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
Alcoholism or substance abuse disorder can be characterized by a number of different signs and symptoms depending on how severe the alcohol addiction is. While mild alcoholism is often ignored, any level of abuse is often enough to cause severe problems or lead to worsening patterns of abuse.
Some signs include: distancing oneself from social circles and daily responsibilities, going out of their way to acquire and drink alcohol instead of doing other activities, and lastly, choosing to continue to drink alcohol despite negative physical, emotional, and financial consequences.
The more a person drinks, the more likely they are to experience both temporary and permanent physical health problems. These problems include: slowed reaction time, slurred speech, blurry vision, difficulty communicating or understanding and even mental health issues.
In fact, according to the ational institute of health (NIH) men who abuse alcohol are two and a half times more likely to suffer from depression and depression related issues. This means that not only does alcohol cause physical ailments, it can be responsible for mental illness as well.
In terms of treatment, addiction coupled with mental illness requires a specialized approach and much more care than a typical addiction treatment. Treatment will likely continue long after rehab is over and may include transitioning into sober living like at Living Now Recovery, where we specialize in holding clients accountable for their addiction and their behavior while giving them the tools they need to cope with life stressors and get completely well.
What Are Signs of Depression?
Depression is a clinically diagnosed disorder that typically involves prolonged feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness. In most cases, depression is long lasting and can come in waves of emotions that make one feel emotionally unstable.
Bouts of anger, outbursts in otherwise calm situations, lack of interest in normally fun activities, distancing oneself from social circles as well as responsibilities are all signs of clinical depression.
One thing to note about depression is that it is markedly different from simply feeling sadness or loss due to a traumatic event. Depression has deeper rooted psychological issues that are rooted in mental disorder.
Substance use disorders like alcoholism can increase the risk for depression, the severity of symptoms, and the frequency of episodes, particularly in men. This requires specialized attention and positive reinforcement in a safe and secure environment in order to help the person truly recover.
Unfortunately, alcohol and depression in men is quite common and the two problems share something of a symbiotic relationship where the alcohol causes the depression, which fuels further drinking.
Is Drinking Alcohol and Depression in Men Common?
As we’ve stated, alcoholism and depression go hand in hand, particularly in men. This is because they form a co-occuring disorder that requires the right treatment plan and continued monitoring and assistance to overcome.
Typical treatment plans don’t treat co-occurring disorders and without continued support, such as at a sober living facility, it can be difficult to overcome both the addiction and the depression.
That’s why at Living Now Recovery, we take treatment a step further and offer sober living homes specifically for men to help them to slowly transition from treatment to returning to the real world. With peer counseling and mentorship programs, it gives clients the ability to meet people in similar situations who are also trying to get sober.
The program includes the ability to rebuild one’s life from the mistakes of the past and work towards life goals while continuing to be held accountable for staying sober. This makes the transition back to a normal life much more successful.
If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism and depression, give Living Now Recovery a call today!