Is Your Alcoholism Caused by Something Bigger? 8 Indicators that it Could be Caused by Depression


Alcoholism can be difficult enough to deal with on its own. Things get more problematic when mental illnesses, such as depression enter the scene. Please see below for some of the common signs of depression and some of their external causes.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar, and depression can often occur with alcoholism. In fact, many alcoholics experience clinical depression before or during their addiction. Some of those symptoms include:

•           Feelings of emptiness

•           Feelings of helplessness

•           Feelings of worthlessness

•           Irritability

•           Trouble concentrating

•           Sadness

Most people feel at least some of these feelings every once in a while, but if your symptoms have lasted two weeks or more you might be dealing with depression. Depression is nothing to just brush off, and it is not a sign of personal weakness. People who may discount your emotions simply may not understand. 

Yes, everyone feels sad every once in a while, but that does not invalidate your feelings or state of being. Do not let their denial of your problem(s) stop you from seeking help. Here at Dreamlife Recovery we believe you and believe in you. You can find help here.

8 Indicators that your Alcoholism Could be Caused by Something Bigger

We are ready and able to help you battle your alcoholism and the underlying causes of it. We are a dual diagnosis treatment center. This means that we are qualified to treat mental illnesses that occur with or help cause alcoholism and other addictions as well as alcohol addiction. Here are some of the common causes of depression.

1.) Chemical/Organic Setup of the Brain of the Mental Illness

Doctors all over the world are researching how and why mental illnesses occur and exactly what causes these disorders. One of the things that is agreed upon is that the brain structure and chemical makeup of someone with a mental illness is different than someone without. This chemical difference is notable in not only people who suffer from depression but also individuals suffering from bipolar disorder, borderline disorder, and other mental illnesses.

2.) High Stress

Stress often triggers the tendency to drink to excess. This is a more common coping mechanism when dealing with stress than people let on. There are many people who seem superhuman who cope with their stress and obligations by abusing substances. Drinking to excess too many times, over a long period of time, rewires the brain so that you have trouble coping with life events including day to day activities without alcohol. Some alcoholics are high functioning so the downward spiral isn’t always apparent to outsiders.

3.) Trauma

Childhood abuse like sexual and physical abuse can encourage someone to drink to excess to try to numb the pain. There are more types of abuse than sexual and physical abuse. Abuse experienced in infancy can still affect someone in their adult lives.

4.) Bullying

Being bullied during childhood and beyond is a common reason for someone to develop depression and alcoholism. It is a valid type of trauma.

5.) Community Violence

Community violence is violence that occurs in front of a person when the person is not the intended victim of the trauma. Many people who have seen someone die report that even witnessing the tragedy affects them for the rest of their lives.

 6.) Loss of a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is always hard, but for some people, the trauma might be especially pronounced. This could be anyone from a grandmother, to a good friend, to a mother or father figure who protected the child from abuse at the hands of another.

7.) A Close Family Member Suffers from Alcoholism and/or Depression

Alcoholism can tend to be genetic, but there can be environmental factors that encourage it as well. The experience of living in an abusive home where any family member who causes the abuse drinks can drive another person in the household to start drinking as a way to cope with the pain.

8.) Pregnancy/Postpartum Depression Hormones

Many women can develop postpartum depression after giving birth. Often being told that this should be the happiest time of their lives can lead these feelings to intensify. Often new mothers are bullied into keeping silent about their depression. People like to refuse to accept the existence of postpartum depression in others and themselves. Here at Dreamlife Recovery, we know that postpartum depression is very real and we know that it is very valid, and too often ignored. Denial of treatment of postpartum depression can lead a new mother to feel that her only outlet to cope with her depression is drinking.

Some indicators of postpartum depression include not loving or taking care of your baby. Most women feel depressed for about 3-5 days in the period following giving birth. This is often known as the “baby blues”. Any of these feelings can also occur in pregnant women as well. This is could to be caused by the huge chemical and hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body as she creates life and when the body is trying to recover from the stress of birth. If feelings of depression, including those listed above in the clinical depression section, last longer than two weeks please seek help.

We are here for you

Here at Dreamlife Recovery, in Pittsburg, PA, we are a dual diagnosis clinic. We are prepared to help you learn healthier ways to deal with your depression. Depression can be a crippling, or near-crippling disorder. One of the problems that depression can cause is that it makes it hard for the affected person to find the energy to reach out, or it can cause the belief that they are not worthy of treatment. Please do not let your loved one suffer from this alone. It is hard to watch someone cause themselves problems or even go into a self-destructive tailspin, but you can help with their depression by helping them help themselves. They might go back to drinking even if that problem is ‘fixed’. Depression is a long-ranging problem. We are here to help. Dual diagnosis matters.

In our Pittsburg, PA location we treat not only depression as related to alcoholism but as related to other substances too, like heroin. Alcohol often goes hand in hand with other addictions like addiction to painkillers. Please contact us for more information. We are here for you.

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References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/basics#symptoms

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-symptoms-causes#1

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/symptoms-of-stress

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/what-is-depression#1

https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression

Article Reviewed by Lidice Morales

Lidice MoralesLidice Morales, an honors graduate from the Kaiser University, has made a name for herself as the Director of Nursing at several behavioral health facilities and as the Director of Operations for Detox MD. Now she is the VP of Operations at DreamLife Recovery. She strives for better patient care through constant self-improvement and furthering her education. Her steadfast work ethic and passion in the field has remained the most important aspect of her professional career; showing dedication to not only the acquisition of new knowledge, but also its mastery. Lidice believes that a professional work atmosphere fosters cohesion and malleability amongst herself and her coworkers; thereby increasing both the level of patient care and quality of life.

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