Diagnosing, Treating And Preventing Alcoholic Depression
A major side effect of alcoholism is that of depression. Severe depression can manifest in people who have never had to battle with this debilitating condition. Through the prolonged use of alcohol, the person begins to see themselves, and the world around them, in a depressive state. Knowing the signs, of alcoholic depression, how to treat it, and even to prevent this from setting in can lead to a major turnaround in the numbers of those who have fallen victim.
Alcoholic Depression by the Numbers
A recent 2001 study in Canada has brought to light some startling facts. It has been estimated that there are over 425,000 heavy drinkers in the country. This is set apart from the casual drinkers. This number alone is mostly those who have exhibited signs of being dependent on alcohol. Out of this number, 25% of those are suffering with depression. This depression is because of their dependence on alcohol. The same survey also revealed that women were more susceptible to alcoholic depression than was men, at almost a five to one ratio.
Alcoholic Depression Culprits
The reason that many of these people are experiencing depressive episodes, even when this was not a regular characteristic of their personality, is that alcoholism changes the way that the mind processes reality. Some people are depressed because they feel inferior to others around them. Low self-esteem is a large part of the psyche of an alcoholic. The alcohol in the system tends to heighten this feeling. The inability to get out from under the power of alcohol is another reason for a deep depression.
Alcoholic Depression Signs
When it comes to alcoholic depression, there are some warning signs for families and friends. One sign is a major change in personality. If the person is usually outgoing, but suddenly becomes sullen and reclusive, there can be some depression setting in. Continuous breakdowns, and crying episodes, especially when drinking, are another clear indicator. Attempts at suicide are an extreme sign, but one that can show up if the depression is severe enough.
Alcoholic Depression Treatment
Treating this type of condition is a two-headed monster. Medical professionals have to treat two different disorders at once in order to make sure that the patient, or the alcoholic, does not relapse and begin drinking again, or have a depressive episode, or both. Long term, inpatient care, is needed in order to make sure that the patient makes a full recovery. A commitment by the alcoholic, the family, and friends are also needed to ensure that a slip back into destructive ways does not happen.
Alcoholic Depression Prevention
Once someone begins to drink, especially at a young age, it is hard to know how dependent someone is on alcohol. The best prevention, of course, is to make sure that people do not begin drinking in the first place. After the person has become an alcoholic, the next-best thing is to continually be there, continue to build up their esteem, and help get over their alcoholism in a good alcohol treatment program in Canada.