Addiction Treatment

The Dangerous Dance of Sobriety and Depression

Written By:

Becky Babb

The Dangerous Dance of Sobriety and Depression

Depression and alcoholism often go hand-in-hand. Individuals who suffer from depression or other psychological disorders may be more prone to alcoholism, and because alcohol is itself a depressant, an alcoholic may experience depression symptoms as he sinks further into the clutches of his disease. Alcoholism and depression may each be catalysts for the other. However, the more powerful danger lies in depression symptoms that strike a recovering alcoholic both early in his recovery and later as he strives for long-term sobriety. Unfortunately, long term sobriety and depression can go hand-in-hand.

Long Term Sobriety and Depression

Man deals with long term sobriety and depression

Recovery and sobriety will pose challenges for every alcoholic. Alcoholics might reject recovery if they are afraid of life without alcohol and they perceive sobriety as a dull and boring state of existence. Many recovering alcoholics experience boredom in the early stages of recovery because they have forgotten how to enjoy themselves apart from alcohol. Boredom leads to despair and the first sensations of depression. If those sensations are not diagnosed or the recovering alcoholic’s depression is not treated, that depression can lead to a relapse that wipes out all early gains that an alcoholic has achieved in his recovery.An alcoholic’s recovery counselors and therapists should remain on high alert for symptoms of depression. Ideally, they will delve into the recovering alcoholic’s medical and personal history to understand the forces that led to alcoholism in the first instance. By at least one measure, almost half of all individuals who suffer from psychological disorders will abuse alcohol and other substances. Those disorders and alcoholism are separate and distinct problems, and counselors and therapists need to treat them separately. Depression treatment might include antidepressant medication and regular psychotherapy that is in addition to the behavioral and group therapy that an alcoholic will receive to overcome a drinking problem. Individuals with long term sobriety and depression might also need to continue antidepressant treatment.

Alcoholism and Depression

An alcoholic, even if highly motivated to get sober, might reject a diagnosis of depression or some other psychological disorder. That denial can come from an ingrained sense of denial or misunderstanding of mental disorders, or it may itself be a symptom of alcoholism. Alcoholics are the last to admit they have a problem. In fact, most alcoholics will live in a state of denial until their drinking problem is out of hand. In this instance, depression and other psychological problems will lurk in the background of the alcoholic’s recovery, exposing the alcoholic to a heightened risk of failure and relapse.

How Alcohol Addiction Treatment Can Help

Recovering from alcoholism involves far more than just staying away from alcohol. Some alcoholics are able to avoid drinking for years, and yet because their recoveries were not managed well or other mental disorders were not properly diagnosed or treated, those alcoholics never achieve true sobriety. Even without alcohol, they continue to demonstrate self-destructive tendencies and they remain mired in a depressed and negative state. If you are suffering from alcoholism, your best opportunity for a successful recovery will come if you open yourself to alcohol addiction treatment. This can help with all problems in your life, including depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.

Get Alcoholism Help at The Last Resort Recovery Center

The Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs for recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse that treat all aspects of an alcoholic’s life, including depression. Please call us at 512-750-6750 for more information about our residential treatment program and for a confidential consultation on how we can treat any and all substance abuse and psychological problems that you may be experiencing.

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