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Understanding the Link Between Depression and Alcohol Abuse

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Depression and alcohol often go hand in hand, requiring a special sort of treatment for addicts. A significant number of women diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with alcohol abuse or addiction. Similarly, a large number of women with an addiction eventually are diagnosed as being clinically depressed. The stark reality is that depression and alcohol dependency commonly are both diagnosed in females.

If you feel you are facing both depression and alcohol dependency, abuse or addiction issues, keep in mind two important facts. First, you definitely are not alone. Thousands of women receive the dual diagnosis of alcohol addiction and depression each and every week.   Treatment for addicts very often involves treatment for underlying issues like depression and alcohol.

Second, the link between a depressive illness and alcohol addiction is not surprising. Not only is it a common occurrence, but this type of dual diagnosis occurs among women and men alike because of the nature of depression and alcohol addiction.

Depression and Alcohol: The Vicious Circle

A common scenario among women, and sometimes men, from different walks of life is to use a moderate amount of alcohol to temper sadness instead of getting treatment for addicts. A common effect of this initial attempt at self-medication is for the sadness to escalate to clinical depression, for two reasons. First, alcohol is a depressant, and it can bring you down. Second, when alcohol is introduced as a “solution” to sadness, the true issues causing this sadness are not addressed, even as clinical depression develops.

Alcohol use can make depression worse. In turn, you may want to consume more alcohol to numb the symptoms of depression. And guess what? This continues to make the depression more severe. Depression and alcohol truly can become the proverbial cocktail for disaster in the lives of countless women each and every year. Professionals who deal with treatment for addicts see this scenario play out more times than most care to remember.

See also  The Relationship Between Manic Depression, Suicide and Addiction

Treatment for Addicts and Women Diagnosed with Depression

If you or a loved one is a woman suffering from both an addiction to alcohol as well as depression, the ideal treatment program may be one geared towards addressing this type of dual diagnosis. Keep in mind that not all programs designed to provide treatment for addicts include a component for dealing with a psychological illness like depression.

In the end, if you truly do have a dual diagnosis of depression and alcohol addiction, participating in a treatment program designed to address a substance abuse issue like alcohol addiction simply is not enough. If the depression is left untreated, that illness is more than likely to cause an alcohol-based relapse not long after formal addiction treatment ends. Specific treatment for addicts with depression can be a more effective recovery course.

If you or a woman you love is having problems with depression and alcohol, chemical dependency or addiction, a dual diagnosis program for women may be the answer.  Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support.  Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us today.  Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

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