Alcohol is a known depressant. However, many people still turn to it as a primary means of relieving feelings of despair and the symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, alcohol will only make the problem worse over time. There is a strong correlation between depression and alcohol. Treating the two issues together can significantly increase the success of addiction recovery efforts. Dual diagnosis treatment in California is becoming more common and accessible.
At Oceanfront Recovery, we are experts in dual diagnosis treatment. Our clients participate in effective, high-quality, evidence-based treatments tailored to their unique needs and circumstances. We prioritize person-first healing at our boutique Laguna Beach treatment center. Please feel free to reach us at 877.296.7477.
What Is Seasonal Depression?
Also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Seasonal depression is more than just a blanket term describing run-of-the-mill holiday blues. Seasonal depression is a serious depressive disorder characterized by seasonal depressive symptoms that typically begin in the fall, persist through the winter months and start to resolve as daylight hours increase in the spring.
Common seasonal depression symptoms include:
- Increased fatigue
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Oversleeping and other sleep problems
- Weight loss or gain due to changes in appetite
- Intense and frequent carbohydrate cravings
- Increased anxiety
- Persistent agitation or irritability
- Feelings of heaviness in the body, especially limbs
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering
- Social withdrawal
- Decreased motivation and will to do regular activities
- Increased substance use
- Persistent and overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or despair
- Thinking about death or suicide
Don’t mistake SAD for simple winter blues. If you or someone you love experiences some or all of these symptoms annually, reach out to a professional. You deserve to feel good no matter the season.
Correlating Depression and Alcohol Abuse
When a person experiences trauma or is experiencing a mental health disorder, their tolerance for distress is compromised. They can become increasingly vulnerable to other conditions, including addiction. For most people, substance abuse is a symptom of underlying issues such as depression.
Depression is a mental health condition that includes a variety of depressive disorders.
The primary recognized depressive disorders are:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic depression
- Perinatal depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Major depression
- Atypical depression
- Substance-induced depression
Since it’s a depressant, alcohol exclusively exacerbates symptoms of depression, even if it provides momentary relief. Depression has the potential to be deadly, and when it is mixed with alcohol and left untreated, that potential increases exponentially.
Many people who experience depression are adept at obfuscating or masking the symptoms. Overuse of substances and substance-related problems in living are often indicative of underlying issues such as depression.
If you or someone you love is turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as possible.
Rediscover Joy with Oceanfront Recovery
Substance abuse is rarely, if ever, just substance abuse. At Oceanfront Recovery, we recognize the correlation between depression and alcohol abuse, and we’re committed to addressing and healing the root causes of substance abuse.
Winter can be tough for people with SAD and people who experience other forms of depression. Know that, at Oceanfront, there’s no need to mask the symptoms of depression or act like everything is OK. We’re a community of caring people who understand what you’re going through. We can help.
We utilize various multi-modal, holistic, evidence-based treatment techniques to address each person’s unique needs in the most effective way possible. We’re committed to bringing about lasting change and helping each client recover their joy and sense of well-being.