The relationship between alcohol dependence and depression

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the relationship between alcohol dependence and depression

When glancing at the symptoms of depression and alcoholism, the connection is not immediately apparent. The connection between alcohol and depression is undeniable. Depression is a mental illness characterized by a persistent sense of sadness. Information for older people who are worried about their drinking or alcohol consumption, and their What is the connection between depression and alcohol?.

Analysis of data collected at the end of the sixth month showed a statistically significant association between depression and alcohol use P value 0.

In addition those who were depressed at six months had more severe craving for alcohol than those who were not depressed P value 0. Discussion Several studies have demonstrated the extent of comorbidity between depression and alcohol use disorders [ 1 — 4 ]. The current study confirms the high prevalence rates Although only 3 participants were referred for treatment of depression there was a statistically significant reduction of the comorbidity after treatment of alcohol dependence in the current study.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA has concurrent treatment for comorbid disorders as one of its fundamental principles of substance-induced disorders [ 51 ]. The current study did not investigate the cause of association between depression and alcohol dependence.

The finding of a high prevalence rate of depression among the study participants calls for the need to evaluate persons for depression before and after alcohol dependence treatment. In addition it is important to obtain family history of mood disorder and life time diagnosis of depression since the presence of such histories puts the individual at a greater risk of developing major depression.

Some of the study participants were still depressed six months after alcohol detoxification. There was a statistically significant association between being depressed at six months and alcohol use at posttest.

Possibly some of the depressed persons were using alcohol to relieve their depressive symptoms, and major depression was their, primary diagnosis. Literature indicates that persons that use alcohol to relieve depressive symptoms may require treatment of depression to achieve full remission after alcohol use disorder treatment [ 18 ].

Secondly, it is possible that continued use of alcohol by these participants may have sustained the depression. Research indicates that the more a person drinks the more they are likely to develop major depression [ 17 ], and presence of either AUD or major depression is associated with a double risk [ 18 ].

This raises the question as to whether all comorbid depression in alcohol-dependent persons should be managed with antidepressants and explains why antidepressants have been reported to only exert a modest beneficial effect for patients with combined depressive disorder and alcohol dependence [ 7 ]. The need for screening for depression in alcohol-dependent persons and continuous monitoring for it during treatment of alcohol dependence cannot be overemphasized.

This is because untreated persistent depression may reduce the resolve to refrain from alcohol, or alternatively depression may lead to self-medication with alcohol [ 56 ]. This may explain why relapse rates are high after treatment for alcohol dependence. Other factors, that may contribute to high relapse rates after treatment for alcohol use: The current study, like another study [ 2 ], did not show gender link between alcohol use disorders and depression.

There was however a statistically significant association between being depressed and craving for alcohol at six months.

Craving for alcohol is associated with a desire to use the alcohol, and those with severe craving are more unlikely to stop drinking alcohol as compared to those with mild craving. This association between depression and craving may necessitate those individuals who are still depressed after alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation receive antidepressants to possibly reduce the chances of relapse to alcohol use.

Limitation The study sample was one of convenience, purposely selected for alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation. Secondly no past psychiatric history of depression or family history of mood disorders was obtained from the participants at intake. Such a sample may produce skewed prevalence rates of depression. Conclusion The prevalence of depression among alcohol-dependent persons is high. There is recovery from depression after alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, and majority of the cases do not necessarily require treatment for the depression.

In addition persons that are depressed have a significantly higher craving for alcohol after detoxification and rehabilitation. It is important to screen for depression and evaluate to determine the treatment needs during detoxification and rehabilitation. Acknowledgments One of the authors would like to acknowledge the University of Nairobi for waiving this tuition fees for this Ph.

This work is based on Ph. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Supplement. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Archives of General Psychiatry. Major depression in former drinkers: Self-regulation and self-medication factors in alcoholism and the addictions. Recent Developments in Alcoholism.

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the relationship between alcohol dependence and depression

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the relationship between alcohol dependence and depression

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Some people are genetically prone to depression; for example, a family history of depression makes it more likely that a person will also suffer from depression. Personality can play a role, as those with low self-esteem or who are more likely to be pessimistic are also more likely to develop some level of depression. Environmental factors, especially those early in life, can also play a major role in the development of depression.

Many people can exhibit all risk factors and not experience any depression. People can be drawn to the sedative effects of alcohol as a kind of medication, helping to distract from persistent feelings of sadness. While alcohol may temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of depression, it ultimately serves to worsen depression on a long-term basis.

Alcohol abuse brings with it a bevy of negative effects on virtually every aspect of life.

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As a person begins to experience financial and career consequences as a result of alcohol abuse, and their relationships begin to suffer, their depression worsens.

This often leads to a damaging cycle of abusing alcohol in an effort to self-medicate symptoms of depression, and the depression worsening due to the continued alcohol abuse. Once a person regularly abuses alcohol, physical dependence and addiction can quickly follow. Some people have overlapping genetic predispositions that make them more vulnerable to both alcohol issues and depression, and the onset of one condition can trigger the onset of the other. Hangovers are often accompanied by feelings of depression, and continued alcohol abuse can lead to longer periods of depression.

Those who have been diagnosed with depression and take antidepressants to manage the condition can experience additional ill effects due to alcohol abuse. Alcohol makes antidepressants less effective, and the depressant effects of the alcohol will further worsen the now unmanaged, or less managed, depression.

Alcohol and depression| Royal College of Psychiatrists

Alcohol Abuse Leading to Depression While depression can put a person at greater risk to develop an alcohol problem, the inverse is even more common. This increase in depression can then lead to more drinking, thus perpetuating this cycle from the other angle. Medical supervision is required. According to a study published in Addictionindividuals dealing with alcohol use disorder or depression are at double the risk of developing the other condition.

This was not simply a correlation, as the study concluded that alcohol use disorders and depression have a causal relationship.

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The study found that alcohol abuse is more likely to cause major depression than the other way around, though the causality could go in either direction. There were links found between the neurophysiological and metabolic changes brought about by alcohol abuse and the mechanisms for depression to occur.

The study concluded that abuse of alcohol puts an individual at a significantly greater risk to develop depression than that of a person who is not abusing the substance.

Therefore, it is clear that alcohol abuse can induce depression, and depression can also induce alcohol abuse.