Alcohol Rehab and Depression

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Depression is a debilitating condition that makes it almost impossible for anyone to function normally. It is made worse if it exists together with alcoholism.

Fortunately, enough, there are depression rehab clinics that can help anyone with a dual diagnosis of these two. 

An alcohol and depression treatment centre can help an individual with this kind of condition. This means that the dual diagnosis can be treated together. 

Alcoholism is a substance use disorder that is clinically known as AUD or Alcohol Use Disorder, and it is a disease characterized by the inability to control one's drinking.

The alcoholic usually has a distorted view of themselves which includes denial of their drinking issues and a certain preoccupation with staying drunk and being drunk all the time. 

One of the most important symptoms of alcoholism is the continued pattern of substance use disorder, regardless of its negative effects on one's life.  

Family members and concerned friends will usually look for ways to help the individual through identification of their alcoholism and finding alcoholic rehabs for them. 

Alcohol use disorder is characterised by the following symptoms: 

  • Some physical withdrawal symptoms whenever the individual is without alcohol. 
  • Heightened agitation if one is unable to take alcohol for whatever reason. 
  • Blackout sessions after indulging in alcohol, where the individual does not remember their behaviour or actions when they were intoxicated. 
  • Being violent after drinking. 
  • Missing school or work due to being drunk. 
  • Ignorance of basic needs such as proper nutrition, hygiene, household cleanliness and other health related care procedures. 
  • Being defensive or lying about themselves when one asks them about their alcohol intake. 
  • Needing to increase their alcohol intake to feel high. 

Does Rehab Work for Depression? 

Yes. Rehab works for Depression. Depression is often used loosely by most people when they are in any sort of low mood, but the clinical description of depression is much more serious than that.  

This is a condition that is characterized by extremely low moods that occur regularly, and they are accompanied by a loss of interest in normal activities as well as low self-esteem.  

The individual suffering from depression is often classified as one suffering from a mental illness for the purpose of treatment.  

A depressed person does not take good care of their health. Therefore, the rehab process puts plenty of emphasis on the individual’s thought process, decision-making, and emotions. 

Whether Rehab will work for depression or not is a good question because, as we have mentioned above, depression and alcohol almost always occur together.

Most people suffering from depression will give positive results after having a stay at a depression rehab clinic.  

Some of the benefits of Rehab include:  

  • A reduction in anxiety and stress, high self-esteem,  
  • A balanced outlook on life,  
  • Increased self-confidence, body acceptance, and  
  • Better mental and physical health. 

At the treatment centre, the certified addiction professional can diagnose the mental health condition caused by alcohol use disorder through the following symptoms. 

  • Feelings of emptiness and worthlessness 
  • Intense feelings of sadness 
  • Loneliness 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Extreme irritability 
  • Guilt 
  • Changing Sleep habit 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sudden weight gain or loss 
  • Losing interest in your hobbies 
  • Back and joint pains 
  • Headaches 
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Digestive issues. 

Please note that symptoms of depression differ from one person to another, and you may not necessarily experience the ones mentioned above. 

Alcohol induced depression is treated by use of psychotherapy and medication, or a combination of the two.

Both are conditions that can be treated, although for excellent results, the treatment should start as soon as possible. 

People who are suffering from a depressive disorder tend to have unique experiences and the addiction treatment centre can evaluate and understand them well.

Most people think that a persistent depressive disorder is simply being extremely sad but, it is more than that.  

A major Depressive disorder is characterized by the following symptoms:  

  • mental health disorder 
  • substance use disorder 
  • persistent depressive disorder 
  • postpartum depression 
  • seasonal affective disorder 
  • bipolar disorder 
  • alcohol induced depression 
  • drug abuse 
  • drinking alcohol, etc.  

A study in the NIH MedlinePlus Magazine Fall 2009 Issue [1] explains that people who suffer from major depressive disorder spend around eight years of their lives trying to get a handle on the problem, and they struggle with the depression symptoms while coming up with their own methods of mitigating the risks.  

Sometimes, the self-help methods of treatment lead to alcohol addiction, alcohol abuse and alcohol induced depression. They turn to alcohol to numb the pain of the persistent depressive disorder.  

This is therefore what causes the alcohol addiction, and it is not a healthy way of dealing with their problems. The depressed person should look for a better way of dealing with the major depressive disorder. 

They however find it difficult accurately explaining how they feel to outsiders, and therefore the treatment tends to take time. To make matters worse, when coupled with alcohol abuse, people are less likely to help.

But, if your loved one has alcohol addiction, the best thing would be to understand them, and try to find help for them, rather than shunning them and hating them. 

Clinical depression is a medical condition that should be treated at an addiction treatment centre near you. 

Take time to understand a loved one, do not rehash the mistakes they have made because of their addiction, and rather, find a treatment centre, with a certified addiction professional, who can provide the proper treatment to your loved one. 

Because of these feelings, people who have symptoms of depression tend to be distracted, sleep less, lose weight, feel hopeless and unable to interact with family. They need a lot of love. 

How Long Does Alcohol Induced Depression Last? 

The duration of an alcohol-induced depression varies widely. It depends on the individual. 

But generally, the depression symptoms associated with alcoholism normally improve after one abstains from alcohol for a given period, usually 3 – 4 weeks.  

Research however shows that depression symptoms, because of alcohol addiction can also turn into a major depressive disorder if the symptoms of the depression persist even after cessation of alcohol and other substance intake. 

Major Depressive disorder refers to having continuous and long-term symptoms of depression that causes one to become disinterested in most things.

The individual will often want to hide and be alone. These symptoms could last for many years, and end up interfering with one's schoolwork, family relationships and other responsibilities. 

If you happen to suffer from this kind of depression, then depression treatment is necessary, and this will help you lead a normal life.  

Due to the chronic nature of this condition, coping with the symptoms is extremely challenging, and in most cases, becoming an alcoholic is inevitable, which is why dual diagnosis is necessary.  

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Deciding If You Need Alcohol and Depression Rehab 

Deciding if you need help for alcohol abuse, and depression treatment is one of the most important decisions in an addict’s life, and even in the most severe cases, they can be treated.

Due to co-occurring conditions, it is recommended that one seeks treatment for both alcohol abuse and the symptoms of depression together at a rehab clinic near you. 

These are safe and effective treatment centres that can help one acclimate easily back to their everyday lives. Most of them are also able to provide aftercare and help one remain sober after Rehab. 

Support groups, talk therapy, and psychiatric medication are all great ways of managing major depressive disorder, alcohol abuse and all the symptoms of depression.

However, there are sometimes when a higher level of care is needed to treat a depressed and alcoholic individual. 

This is where the need for Rehab comes in. Instead of moving forward with your life and managing depression with family, work, and personal obligations, a residential treatment centre for alcohol and depression enables one to focus all day and every day on getting better. 

This homelike atmosphere of the clinic makes it easy for you to solely focus on recovery and getting better. 

If you are not sure whether this is right for you and are trying to decide whether you need alcohol and depression Rehab, here are some signs that you do need this kind of treatment. 

  • If your addiction is causing adverse effects on your most important relationships. It is not strange to find one’s personality changing because of alcohol and depression addiction.  
  • When one starts to feel hopeless and anxious, then this is a clear sign that you need help. Alcohol induce depression can certainly take a toll on your close relationships, causing you to withdraw further and further away until those you care about to become destroyed and damaged by your addictions. 

In case you are worried about how this is affecting your children or that you are probably headed for a breakup or divorce, you should consider finding a rehab facility near you and enrolling immediately to start receiving the treatment plan that you so desperately need. 

Here are some signs that you need proper treatment. 

If You Are Struggling at Work 

While dealing with depression, work cannot be easy. One’s work quality can slide as a result, especially if one is unhappy with their job.

Before long, one may find themselves not meeting deadlines and end up not engaging with their job as they did before. 

It gets worse if you get passed up for promotion or if you get fired. In the end, it becomes clear that you are unable to perform the duties assigned to you by management.

Some people will suffer from depression to manage their jobs and then end up getting into drug and alcohol abuse in the process. 

Work-related stress is a huge trigger. If this is your life currently, you need to immediately find an alcohol and depression rehab clinic for treatment. 

If You Are Using Drugs and Alcohol to Cope with Depression 

Co-occurring disorders are common to people with substance use. The strong link between depression and alcohol makes it easy for one to suffer both simultaneously. 

Suppose you are depressed and find yourself using drugs and alcohol to cope with it. In that case, it means that you need an alcohol and depression rehab clinic immediately to cope with the feelings that accompany this diagnosis. 

Separating depression from substance abuse can be a tedious process. Therefore personally, most people will experience the most success by working with a professional, especially in a residential clinic. 

When Ones Normal Daily Activities Become Overwhelming 

It makes complete sense that when you are depressed, performing your daily activities becomes challenging.

Taking care of yourself before things get worse should be at the top of your to-do list because, before you know it, you will find yourself unable to even take a shower or work. 

Even something as simple as getting out of bed when one is depressed becomes almost an impossibility.

If you have noticed that your day-to-day activities are becoming more challenging, you should immediately find an alcohol and depression clinic near you. 

When You Start Having Suicidal Thoughts 

Having thoughts of suicide is common for a depressed person, and therefore, seeking treatment is vital. Suicide ideation and then acting on these thoughts is an acute symptom of depression. 

If one has suicidal thoughts, they must be extremely careful about this and realize that they need the kind of help that a good rehab clinic can provide. 

Also, people who suffer from other forms of depression such as psychotic depression, postpartum depression, psychiatric disorders, low-self-esteem, physical dependency, self-harm, mental health disorder, manic depression, extreme mood swings, etc. can benefit from professional treatment advice from a certified addiction professional, who are mostly found at the rehab clinics. 

Treating Alcohol and Depression 

People suffering from persistent depressive disorder because of alcohol abuse often have intense symptoms than people who suffer from only one of the conditions.

The physical issues that are caused by alcohol abuse are amplified by depression symptoms. 

At the same time, mental health disorder symptoms that are caused by psychotic depression may increase the cravings to drink alcohol. 

Therefore, treatment options that pay little attention to depressive symptoms and mental disorders are likely to be less effective for people suffering from these co-occurring conditions, and may in fact worsen depression leading to more severe depression. 

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 

The first step when you visit one of the treatment providers will be for the doctor to diagnose you using the national institute diagnostic and statistical manual. 

You're likely to start by seeing your doctor. If your doctor suspects you have a problem with alcohol, he or she may refer you to a mental health professional. 

To assess your problem with alcohol, your doctor will likely: 

Speak with your family members concerning your symptoms and any family history that has to do with mental health conditions and alcohol abuse. This is because, in most cases, alcohol abuse, and mental health are hereditary conditions. 

The treatment centres would also like to know about any kind of challenges you are facing at home, work, or school, plus the issues you have with the people around you. 

This interview can be done either over the phone or in person. If you are admitted, you will undergo several medical and psychiatric assessments to determine whether you have medical complications or comorbid mental health issues. 

If the symptoms are too advanced, you could be assigned a multi-disciplinary team to work with you to adjust and monitor your progress.

The treatment options offered at the alcohol and depression rehab clinic include: 

  • Group therapy 
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy 
  • Professional treatment advice 
  • Dual diagnosis treatment 
  • Individual therapy 
  • Family therapy 
  • Psychoeducational classes 
  • Equine therapy 
  • Art therapy 
  • Meditation 
  • Yoga 
  • Dance. 

Conclusion 

Most people suffering from depression and AUD will start reporting positive results after staying at a specific treatment centre for a few weeks.

Additionally, if they also suffer from drugs and depression, the treatment facility can help as well. 

So, because everyone is unique, as we have mentioned above, they will have different symptoms, and the medical professionals at the rehab facility will always tailor make the treatment program to fit everyone. 

Please note that both symptoms occurring together will be expensive to treat, and it may cost you more than £500 a week, depending on the clinic you choose.  

If you are currently going through depression, you may think that alcohol will help you feel better, but unfortunately that is not true, and the effects alcohol and drug abuse are likely to make things worse.

With time, you may end up with a combination of both alcoholism and major depression. 

Treating this will be a long process, and the journey will be difficult. The earlier you find help for your problem, the better.

Currently, there are many treatment centres that are willing to help you. Please find help from the treatment providers listed online.  

All the best as you try to get your life back.  

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About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.