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How Alcohol Can Impact Depression

A woman thinking about alcohol and depression

Alcohol addiction and depression commonly present themselves together. An addiction can lead to depression, and vice versa, depression can lead to drinking in excess. People tend to turn to substances as a way to self-medicate when they are overwhelmed or are having trouble managing a mental health issue. These co-occurring disorders can be treated alongside each other as part of a dual diagnosis treatment program.

To find out more about dual diagnosis treatment in Austin, call the team at The Arbor at 844.413.2690. Our caring and compassionate treatment team understands the dynamics of treating multiple disorders and it is why our dual diagnosis program exists. The team is prepared to give you the treatment experience you need to fully recover and lessen your risk of relapse once you are living on your own without the full support of a treatment program and the professionals who work with you.

The Connection Between Alcohol and Depression

It’s first important to understand what depression and alcohol addiction are. Depression is clinically known as a major depressive disorder. While common, it is a serious medical condition that causes you to feel, think and act negatively. Alcohol addiction is a substance use disorder that is considered a chronic disorder of compulsive drinking. It is often seen alongside a loss of impulse control and the inability to stop drinking once addicted.

Alcohol becomes so addictive because it directly affects the Central Nervous System (CNS) and creates that calming effect users crave. Body and mind slow down with use, and this can actually lead to chronic depression. It also changes what the chemical balance of the brain looks like. It works as a depressant and can have lasting effects on your mental state. The initial euphoria can turn to anxiety, paranoia, and dangerous behavior the more and more you drink. This downward spiral of addiction and depression can quickly get out of control and it’s why treatment is necessary to overcome these disorders and get on a path to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Those who are both abusing alcohol and experiencing depression can have the following symptoms:

  • Cravings that they cannot control
  • A tolerance that builds over time the more that they drink alcohol
  • Poor hygiene
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Slurred speech

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When struggling with substance use or mental health disorder, good judgment is usually not present in the person struggling and they can be very vulnerable. This is why many try to fix their problems on their own with more destructive behaviors or methods they know are not a good idea because of their unsafe nature.

Dual diagnosis can be part of:

  • Residential treatment
  • Sober living programs
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)

Dual diagnosis treatments can include:

  • Treatment for alcohol addiction
  • Treatment for depression
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Experiential therapies like yoga or animal-assisted therapy

The Arbor Can Help With Dual Diagnosis

As addiction and mental health often occur together, treating them at the same time makes sense. Research has shown this to be the most effective versus treating each condition separately. Because of this, dual diagnosis treatment is available at many treatment centers. At The Arbor, we offer a respectful and compassionate approach so that each person is treated with respect and a treatment plan unique to them and their needs.

In addition to dual diagnosis treatment, The Arbor offers:

  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
  • Gender-specific treatment
  • Sober Living
  • Family program
  • Alumni program

Reach out today at 844.413.2690 to find out more about treatment options. The treatment team can answer any questions you have on addiction, depression, and dual diagnosis treatment in the Austin, Texas, area.