Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing are two therapies that have shown strong effectiveness in dealing with dual diagnosis of alcohol and depressive disorders. CBT is generally administered as a short-term psychological treatment where a patient works with a therapist to identify negative thinking, behavior and emotional responses, and develops skills to change them. MI is also a goal-oriented counseling approach, first used with AUD, where the therapist facilitates and engages the person’s intrinsic motivation in order to change behavior. In some cases, you may receive a dual diagnosis of a major depressive disorder and an alcohol use disorder . This co-occurring disorder isn’t uncommon, but it can be difficult to treat. This article outlines the connection between alcohol and depression, how the two disorders align, identifies treatment options, and ways to cope. As briefly discussed earlier in this article, the family studies are far from definitive because of difficulties in the methodologies used.


It may temporarily suppress feelings of isolation, anxiety, or sadness, but that won’t last. One reason you feel depressed after drinking is because alcohol alters the brain’s chemistry leading to lowered moods. However, there are other reasons that people report feeling depressed after drinking. Over time, the more frequently alcohol is used, the more diluted these effects become.

Alcohol use and depression symptoms

Luckily, there are dozens of treatment options available to you or a loved one who is suffering from depression. For many individuals, depression will abate with time and treatment. For others, the condition may be a lifelong struggle; treatment can dramatically improve the quality of and extend the length of life, however. Because depression is so prevalent among alcoholics, almost all treatment centers have a great deal of experience helping patients overcome both conditions.

  • In a mental health crisis, a person’s usual coping mechanisms for everyday life break down.
  • People who have experienced abuse, trauma, and relationship problems may be more likely to be depressed or misuse alcohol.
  • Your mood may temporarily lift when you drink, but alcohol usually makes depression worse over time.
  • While some people only suffer one episode, others experience several slumps throughout their lives.
  • Help is available, and even the most severe forms of depression and alcohol abuse can be treated.

These programs are not only safe and effective, but they also help people prepare to acclimate back into everyday life. Many centers are also able to provide aftercare recommendations to help ensure sobriety after rehab. No one should suffer in silence from the harmful effects of co-occurring alcoholism and persistent depressive disorder. Alcohol treatment programs are the safest and most effective way to overcome co-occurring conditions. These programs provide the tools necessary for staying in recovery long-term. Over time, a person can become dependent on alcohol and rely on it to get by.

Binge drinking can compromise your personal safety

APA releases new practice guideline on treatment of alcohol use disorder. Alcoholics anonymous and alcohol treatment centers offer classes and support group meetings.


Depression is one of the more common mental health disorders. It is characterized by feelings of intense sadness and can last for months or even years. When it co-occurs with AUD, the symptoms can be devastating. Luckily, effective dual diagnosis treatment for AUD and depression exists and can help one achieve and maintain recovery. Understanding what depression is, how it interacts with substance use, and how to find dual diagnosis treatment can help you begin your journey to recovery. As discussed in Part One of this series, another barrier to treatment is that, in the U.S., separate treatment programs and services are in place to treat each problem. However, most addiction treatment programs are not geared to handle clinical depression, and people in treatment for depression seldom receive appropriate treatment for substance use disorders.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Eating Disorder?

alcohol and depression illnesses such as depression are more common than many people think. Depression usually manifests in one’s late teens or young adulthood. It is estimated that at least one-third of the female population will experience depression at some point in their lives.

alcohol induced

Since they’re dependent on drinking, quitting drinking doesn’t cross their mind as an option. This only makes their depressive episode worse and may cause more episodes in the future as well. If they don’t seek help for their drinking or depression, they put themselves at risk of advancing both conditions. At first, alcohol seems to provide the same relaxing, anxiety-reducing effects. It softens the sharp edges of the world and makes symptoms easier to manage. It might even allow some people to socialize instead of isolating themselves.

How Long Does Alcohol-Induced Depression Last? of serious and complex psychiatric disorders sometimes requires a patient to be admitted to a mental health institution. This usually takes place voluntarily in close consultation with everyone concerned. A person who is a danger to himself or those around him can be admitted involuntarily . Carol’s past experience in the medical field has led to a deep knowledge of the struggles those with a substance use disorder face. She is passionate about helping people who are struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction and hopes her writing for Alcohol Rehab Guide can help. After the evaluation is complete and a diagnosis has been made, a doctor will discuss their findings with the patient and talk about treatment options. In the case of co-occurring conditions, a health provider may refer their patient to a treatment provider who is able to help them recover from both disorders simultaneously.