Does Alcohol Cause Depression?

in Alcohol

As a recovered alcoholic, I often wonder if I drank because I was depressed, or if I was depressed because I drank.

For me, the answer wasn't quite so easy... and actually a little bit of both. I was watching a recent episode of A&E's Intervention when the featured alcoholic said, "I drink because I'm angry and I'm angry because I drink." I thought to myself, "wow, that's it!"

What I share about alcohol and depression is from my experience as a recovered alcoholic. I did suffer severe depression as a result of my drinking. So much so that towards the end, suicide seemed like a viable solution. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I see that now. Honestly, I was so depressed and full of regret and remorse, I just wanted the pain to stop. I had tried rehab several times before and figured I was different and could not be helped. I was wrong.

So back to the question, does alcohol cause depression? To answer that, I would say yes and no. Yes, years of drinking and living in a way which my conscience tells me is not healthy, plays havoc on my self-respect and self-esteem. However, alcohol was the solution to my problem for many years. My problem was not alcohol, my problem was not knowing how to deal with emotions in a healthy manner. I started drinking early in my high school years and as a result, for some reason, never really learned how to deal with emotions properly. When things got too uncomfortable in relationships, I would usually bolt. Making up some kind of excuse like, "it's not you, it's me." Moreover, I did not know I was emotionally unavailable or immature.

When I drank, everything felt fine. Until it didn't any more. I'm not sure when alcohol stopped working for me, but at some point it made me feel worse and not better about myself. So I think initially I drank because I was somewhat depressed or lonely and drinking made me feel alive and masked the feelings of low self-esteem. It's important to note however, that I did not realize this until years after I started recovering from alcoholism. For the most part, I always viewed myself as a happy-go-lucky guy with a positive attitude and high self-esteem.

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Jared Akers has 1 articles online

So for me, I believe I initially drank because I was depressed, or emotionally immature. But as the years of alcohol abuse continued, the depression was a result of the weight on my conscience due to my unhealthy living. Personally, alcohol depression was a vicious cycle that was hard to break. Towards the end of my drinking, the pain of the way things were finally outweighed the fear of trying something different. I finally gave up and asked for help. I then followed directions from those who have been where I have been and got better. To learn more about alcohol depression, visit About Alcohol Depression.

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This article was published on 2010/03/29