Binge drinking and depression often go hand in hand, one disorder continually worsening the symptoms of the other as the negative consequences begin to pile up. Either one can cause significant issues in the person’s life, making it more difficult for him to function at work or in relationships with others. But when both disorders are an issue, it can become overwhelming and cause a number of problems – everything from financial difficulties to legal issues to trouble getting or maintaining work.
If depression and binge drinking are problems for someone you love, we can help. Contact us today to find out more about how a dual diagnosis rehab program can help.
Why Do Binge Drinking and Depression Often Coexist?
As is often the case when a mental health disorder and a substance abuse issue co-occur, patients may be attempting to treat their uncomfortable mental health symptoms with alcohol. Despite the fact that alcohol is a depressant, many patients believe that having a drink – or five – will make them feel less depressed. Alhough this may be the initial effect, it doesn’t take long for the alcohol to worsen the symptoms of depression.
In some cases, however, depression develops after binge drinking has becoming an ongoing activity. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can trigger feelings of depression, especially if the person is genetically predisposed to develop the disorder or dealing with acute or chronic issues of stress or trauma.
Does It Matter Which Disorder Comes First?
Whether a patient first began drinking in order to deal with their depression or developed issues with depression after they started binge drinking, their treatment process should be the same: a path of therapeutic intervention based on their current struggles as they strive for sobriety and move toward a brighter future.
Can Binge Drinking Cause Depression?
A study in the journal Addiction found a positive association between binge drinking and depressive symptoms. When binge drinking was characterized by intoxication, a hangover the following day, and/or passing out, it was found that participants commonly struggled with depression within five years. The frequency of hangovers was found to be the best predictor for experiencing depression.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Different from chronic heavy drinking or alcoholism, binge drinking is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as any drinking session in which a female drinks more than four drinks or a male drinks more than five drinks in a two-hour period. These sessions often result in extreme intoxication and a high blood alcohol content (BAC) that makes it unsafe for the person to drive or operate machinery.
Depression can occur due to the consequences of choices made under the influence (e.g., actions that result in arrest or lost relationships) or due to the effect of the alcohol itself on the person’s ability to manage emotion.
Learn How to Heal: Call Now
No matter how or why binge drinking and depression occur, if they coexist in the same person, a dual diagnosis treatment program can effectively address both disorders at the same time and help you or your loved one begin a new life in recovery. Call us now, and our admissions coordinators help connect you to the right dual diagnosis rehab for your needs.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton