Alcohol and depression
Alcohol and depression have always seemed to have an inextricable tie between them. While it has never been proven that excessive drinking can lead to depression, it has been seen in many studies that people who drink a lot are at a higher risk of succumbing to depression.
A lot of people consume alcohol not just to have a good time, but to forget about bad times. More often than not, people begin to drink excessively when they are experiencing negative events in their lives. For example, if you some who is close to you dies or you lose your job or girlfriend, it could force you to drink more in order to numb the pain and forget about your sadness.
So even though drinking does not technically lead to depression, excessive drinking is definitely one of the major symptoms that can be associated with depression. If someone has increased their alcohol consumption greatly very recently, then there is a good chance that they might be suffering from depression.
What the Studies Say
There are also some studies out there that go further into linking alcoholism and depression stating that both share common genetic and environmental risk factors that trigger the conditions. There are also studies that have shown that nearly one in every three depressed persons is also an alcoholic. However, which one comes first, is not something that is constant. Sometimes there are people who drink themselves into heavy depression, and other times, there are people who are already depressed and drinking in order to cope with their depression. Some studies have shown, however, that depression occurs before alcoholism for most teens and young adults. Teenagers who are depressed are twice as likely to begin abusing alcohol, according to certain studies.
How about men and women? Some studies show that not only are women more predisposed to self-medicate their depression with alcohol, but also that women who have a history of depression are also a lot more likely to start drinking heavily than women who have no history of depression.
So it can be ascertained that even though there really is no evidence that can clearly state that alcoholism leads to depression, it can definitely be inferred that people who drink heavily are at a much greater risk to become depressed than people who do not abuse alcohol. This is because, generally, not many good things come from alcohol abuse. People who have problems with drinking often end up losing their jobs, ending relationships and shutting out their family and friends while trying to hide their alcohol abuse. All of these things can trigger depression and they do, many times.
The bottom line is that if you are already depressed, alcohol abuse can only make it worse. Alcohol is the worst possible way to self-medicate against depression. If you are depressed, you need to see a professional to help you with the problem, and you will get a lot more help from anti-depressive medication or therapy than you will with a bottle of whiskey.