Does One Sex Suffer More From Alcohol Related Depression
You might want to be particularly concerned about the affect of alcohol on your moods if you are a woman. A 2013 study by the University of Vermont that looked at the affects of regular alcohol consumption on moods did confirm that alcohol led to low moods over good ones.
But it also found that feeling unhappy the day after drinking was more common with female subjects than male.
Whatre You Having And Feeling
If youre looking at the low-risk levels of consumption set by the NIAAA, you might have noticed that levels of consumption vary based on the kind of drink youre having. A 12-ounce serving of beer may only contain 5 percent alcohol, a 5-ounce glass of table wine may contain 12 percent alcohol, and a 1.5-ounce shot of an 80-proof liquor may contain 40 percent alcohol, but they all constitute a single standard drink. Still, these amounts may not reflect actual serving sizes at bars and restaurants, so it is important to monitor consumption closely.
The people we polled said that certain forms of alcohol were more likely to give them different feelings. Men told us that wine, cocktails, and India pale ales made them happiest when they drank, while women said that cocktails, wine, and vodka left them with the most positive emotions. However, vodka was also listed by both men and women as a drink that made them feel anxious, and men told us it made them feel sad and scared. Whiskey was also frequently associated with negative feelings. Men and women told us it made them feel overwhelmed and sad. While some men found whiskey created a feeling of nostalgia, a portion of women said drinking it made them feel scared.
Do Something You Enjoy
Taking some time for productive relaxation can also help ease feelings of depression.
When you feel down, a favorite activity may help improve your mood.
If you dont feel like anything too strenuous, you might consider:
, moderate drinking means one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Having an extra drink or two once in a while doesnt automatically translate to heavy drinking.
But regularly drinking more alcohol than these guidelines recommend can pose a number of health risks, including depression.
Read Also: How To Ask Someone For Help With Depression
How Long Do The Depressive Effects Of Alcohol Last
Can alcohol make you depressed for days, or longer? The answer depends on how much you drink, and how often.
As discussed above, alcohol temporarily increases levels of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. The next day, as these neurotransmitters return to their usual levels, you may feel depressed for a day or so. If you dont drink regularly, your system should return to normal after this.
If you drink heavily on a regular basis, however, the depressive effects of alcohol may become a part of your daily life. And you may experience them even more acutely if you quit. Alcohol withdrawal leads to . If youre in recovery, and depression is a drinking trigger for you, this can make things especially difficult. Your system will eventually recover, but it can be helpful to have long-term support.
Alcohols Effect On Depression
Alcohol can also affect your bodys functions in a negative way that further exacerbates depression symptoms:
- Alcohol can lower serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which help regulate mood. Lower levels of these chemicals can make a depressed person more depressed.
- Alcohol temporarily cuts off the effects of stress hormones. This can exaggerate your depression symptoms because it depresses the brain and nervous system.
- Stress or drugs such as alcohol or cocaine can activate a gene that is linked to depression and other mental health problems. The gene can result in seizures, depression, manic-depressive episodes, and other mental problems, according to Robert Post, chief of the biological psychiatry branch of the National Institute of Health .
- Folic acid deficiency contributes to aging brain processes and increased risk of Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia. Depression is also common in those with folate deficiency. Alcohol use can lower levels of folic acid.
- Alcohol disrupts sleep and alters the thought process, which can increase depression symptoms.
If you are struggling with depression, dont exacerbate your depression symptoms with alcohol. And if you are struggling with both depression and alcohol abuse, find a dual diagnosis treatment center that can help you make a full recovery from both disorders.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Depression Without Meds
When Does Drinking Become A Problem
For most adults, moderate alcohol use no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women and older people is relatively harmless. (A “drink” means 1.5 ounces of spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer, all of which contain 0.5 ounces of alcohol.
Moderate use, however, lies at one end of a range that moves through alcohol abuse to alcohol dependence:
Alcohol abuse is a drinking pattern that results in significant and recurrent adverse consequences. Alcohol abusers may fail to fulfill major school, work, or family obligations. They may have drinking-related legal problems, such as repeated arrests for driving while intoxicated. They may have relationship problems related to their drinking.
People with alcoholism technically known as alcohol dependence have lost reliable control of their alcohol use. It doesn’t matter what kind of alcohol someone drinks or even how much: Alcohol-dependent people are often unable to stop drinking once they start. Alcohol dependence is characterized by tolerance and withdrawal symptoms if drinking is suddenly stopped. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, sweating, restlessness, irritability, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions.
Although severe alcohol problems get the most public attention, even mild to moderate problems cause substantial damage to individuals, their families and the community.
Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
To be diagnosed with major depressive disorder or another depressive disorder, people typically need to display symptoms almost every day for at least 2 weeks. The symptoms are severe enough that they cause significant stress and impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.5 While the specific types of depressive disorders can look a bit different, they tend to share common symptoms that include:1,5,6
- A persistent low mood, feelings of sadness, and/or feeling anxious or empty.
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic.
- Feeling excessively or inappropriately guilty, worthless, or helpless.
- Losing interest or pleasure in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed.
- A lack of energy or fatigue.
- Moving or talking more slowly than usual.
- Difficulty thinking, remembering, or making decisions.
- Changes in sleep, such as trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping more than usual .
- Changes in appetite with significant weight loss or weight gain .
- Having thoughts of self-harm, death, or suicide, or making suicidal attempts.
- Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that arent easily explainable and do not improve with treatment.
Don’t Miss: How Does Depression Cause Weight Loss
Take Our Am I An Alcoholic Self
Take our free, 5-minute Am I an Alcoholic? self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder . The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an AUD. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
Dos And Don’ts Of Drinking Safely21
- Do sip your drink slowly dont gulp it down.
- Do space your drinks with a non-alcoholic drink in between.
- Dont drink on an empty stomach. Have something to eat first.
- Dont drink every day. Have two or three alcohol-free days in the week.
- Do switch to lower strength or alcohol-free drinks.
- Do avoid those large 250 ml glasses in bars and restaurants.
- Do provide interesting non-alcoholic drinks as well as alcohol if you are having a party.
- Do ask your doctor or chemist if it is safe to drink alcohol with any medicine that you have been prescribed.
- Do check your drinking every few weeks with your drinking diary.
- Do keep to the drinking target you have set yourself.
- Don’t binge drink again, check the diary.
Recommended Reading: How Many People Have Clinical Depression
How To Treat Alcoholism And Depression
If youve been suffering from depression, and have been attempting to drink your blues away, youre certainly not alone. Research shows that most people who abuse alcohol and enter treatment have high scores on depression rating scales.
No matter which came first, an increasing number of health professionals believe its best to treat alcohol use and depression at the same time. An integrated model of treatmentwhich includes both pharmacological and psychological therapyis often seen as the most effective way to do this.
Alcohol Prevents Stress Coping
This is where alcohol can cause a serious problem. For many people, alcohol replaced your brain’s need to learn to cope with stress on its own. Alcohol doesn’t help you cope, it simply numbs emotions. That’s why many people turn to alcohol for anxiety conditions such as:
- Panic Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
You may not have turned to alcohol because you had anxiety, but everyone deals with day to day stresses, and when drinking these stresses are numbed, but not dealt with. It’s like using a powerful painkiller on an open wound – you won’t feel any pain, but the wound will keep bleeding.
Recommended Reading: Medication For Depression And Anxiety And Weight Loss
How Alcohol Abuse Can Factor Into Depression
Can alcohol cause depression or vice versa? Research has shown that there seems to be a bidirectional relationship between alcohol use disorder and depressive disorders both disorders can exist together, each disorder increases the risk for the other disorder, and each disorder can worsen the other.7 Regardless of the order of which came first, AUD or a depressive disorder, both issues are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and co-occur often.7,8,9,10
Are you in need of substance abuse and co-occurring mental health treatment? Plenty of American Addiction Centers locations across the nation offer specialized co-occurring disorder treatment. today to discover your treatment options.
Its important to note that the co-occurrence of AUD and depressive disorders, specifically major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, is associated with greater severity and worse prognosis than either disorder alone. This includes a heightened risk for suicidal behavior.7
Its a vicious pairing that can be difficult to overcome, however, treatment can be effective.
Am I Depressed Or Is It Hangxiety
Fatigue and anxiety are common symptoms of a hangover. Some people refer to this type of anxiety as hangxiety. Hangover anxiety is a reaction to the body coming off of alcohol and typically resolves within 24 hours. It is different from major depression or an anxiety disorder.
A depressive episode lasts at least 2 weeks and includes symptoms like:
Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
Loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable
Moving or talking slower than usual
If youre feeling anxious or depressed when youre hungover, you may want to wait and see how you feel after a full day without alcohol. If you feel better after that, then the feelings were probably due to the hangover. However, if you continue to feel anxious and depressed, then you may be dealing with a mental health condition. Consider reaching out to your healthcare provider for assessment and support.
Also Check: Weighted Blanket For Anxiety And Depression
Reasons I Dont Drink Alcohol Anymore
Despite years of loving alcohol I no longer drink. I am not a recovering alcoholic, nor do I have any religious views which dictate abstinence. Its simply that I found the courage to take a hard look at my relationship with alcohol and it became clear that alcohol was taking much more than it was giving.
So why exactly?
1. Alcohol is a sneaky devilI never made a decision to increase how much booze I was drinking. It just happened. Anything that just happens without me being fully aware of why, how, and when is concerning. It means I have less control than I want. Drinking more over time snuck up on me. And when I decided to reverse the trend it was harder than I thought, which leads me to:
2. Alcohol never satisfies Here is the kicker. Its only when you have decided to drink less that you realize how much of a grasp alcohol has on you, and how hard it can be to cut back. You think you can simply reverse the trend of drinking more over the years. Its not that easy. Alcohol demands alcohol. It wants more and if you dont satisfy the craving it begins to throw a fit. Its no fun to live a life of counting drinks and feeling like you are missing out. Moderation is a moody b*tch who doesnt deserve my time or effort.
Get the first chapters of This Naked Mind for FREE today.
Does Drinking Too Much Make You Depressed
Alcohol is a depressant. That means any amount you drink can make you more likely to get the blues. Drinking a lot can harm your brain and lead to depression.
When you drink too much, youâre more likely to make bad decisions or act on impulse. As a result, you could drain your bank account, lose a job, or ruin a relationship. When that happens, you’re more likely to feel down, particularly if your genes are wired for depression.
Read Also: How To Help Someone With Mild Depression
How Alcohol Impacts Dopamine Levels
Alcohol artificially elevates dopamine levels in your brain in ways Thanksgiving dinner simply cant. The reward system in the brain gets switched on and we start to feel amazing. Were buzzed and life is grand.
Except now our brains have to adjust. The brain likes balance. Alcohol creates a chemical imbalance by flooding the brain with dopamine. So it attempts to correct things by producing more GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms things down.
Its why as you continue to drink, your disposition goes from euphoric to slow, slurred, and sloppy.
Why Does Drinking Cause Suicidal Thoughts Now
troubledtimes said:I want to mention I agree with ur well being affecting your tolerence to alcohol. When I was going through a bad anxiety and depression I tried drinking and I just cried and felt worse that’s when I got on effexor and it lifted my mood and I could drink and just wake up with a hangover no crying spells etc. Yes I was on effexor for years but I weaned off it now and I don’t really feel any better… I feel.alot.of derealization. My thyroid tag says it’s fine but I do have low Testosterome
You May Like: Does Lack Of Sunlight Cause Depression
Anhedonia In Early Recovery
An-ha-what? Anhedonia is the feeling that nothing will be good again. It is an inability to experience pleasure, even in things you once enjoyed.
Often when people talk about depression after giving up alcohol, this is what they are referring to. Additional symptoms include:
- inability to experience pleasure
- food loses its taste/is bland
- physical touch is no longer comforting
- sex is no longer enjoyable or you stop having it altogether
People in early recovery experience anhedonia because of the way alcohol changes the structure of the brain. Even though your brain will begin to produce higher levels of dopamine after you quit drinking, with fewer receptors available, it cant get where it needs to go.
The result is a pretty miserable feeling that nothing will ever be good again.
It Stops You From Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
It is worthwhile to learn healthy coping mechanisms in response to emotions like stress, sadness and anger that do not involve or rely on alcohol. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to get the right support for your individual needs. In fact, a study by the HSE into alcohol-related harm found that those who were engaged in regular heavy drinking were less likely to use positive coping strategies when dealing with anxiety and depression.
If a person repeatedly turns to alcohol when their mood deteriorates, they miss out on the opportunity of discovering the other, more effective, ways of dealing with unpleasant moods. learning new ways to cope can make us stronger, healthier and happier in the long term.
Read Also: Does Depression Always Have A Reason
Alcohol And Depression Are You Drinking Yourself Sad
The British public is hardly known for its restraint when it comes to alcohol statistics show 9 out of 10 people in the UK are drinkers.
According to the charity Alcohol Concern, the cost of all our drinking is a high one the expenditure for the UK healthcare system is around £21 billion a year, with over six thousand alcohol related deaths annually. In fact alcohol factors into more than 60 medical conditions, one of which is depression.
Why Does Depression After Giving Up Alcohol Even Happen
Depression can happen to anyone. As someone in recovery, especially the early stages, you might be even more prone to it. There are many reasons for this, and it is a good idea to understand them all. Whether youre facing depression right now or anticipating it once you quit, knowing what can cause depression can help you deal with it.
Depression is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal and can also happen with any addiction. With alcohol, in addition to psychological reasons there are biological reasons. First, there is nothing more to artificially boost your dopamine. Your brains reward system is in shock, and it will take time to recover.
Second, long-term alcohol abuse can cause depression and further brain impairment. Studies have shown that alcohol can cause emotional instability and worsen depression. This, unfortunately, can linger long into sobriety.
When it comes to alcohol, you may also end up experiencing physical withdrawals, which are not pleasant. If you dont have good coping strategies for dealing with these feelings, it can spiral into a depression after quitting alcohol.
Alternatively, perhaps you plan to enjoy social events sober in the future, but are abstaining from them right now. It can be a major downer to deny invitations because of the fear of relapse.
Recommended Reading: Major Depressive Disorder Dsm 5