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Alcoholism and Depression

Written on: March 6th, 2009 By:

Alcoholism and Depression

Alcohol is a depressant that acts on the central nervous system (CNS). Quite often those struggling with alcoholism also struggle with depression.  Some people may begin to consume alcohol in order to numb the pain they feel from being depressed. All too often people use alcohol as a solution to escape painful situations or feelings, to make it seem like everything is okay or merely as an overall avoidance of reality. Treatment for alcoholism may only solve half the problem if an individual also struggles with depression.

Alcoholism and Depression: Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is the term for two co-occurring disorders, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coupled with alcohol or drug addiction. While alcohol can certainly be responsible for depression, many people who are clinically depressed may also seek relief in alcohol. Statistics show approximately 40 percent of alcoholics have depressive tendencies while only 5 to 10 percent of people who are depressed resort to alcohol as a solution. This attempt to self-medicate and stabilize moods through chemical use may be occurring without the person even being consciously aware of it. Only once the alcohol is removed for a period of time can the underlying cause be accurately diagnosed and treated. When seeking treatment for alcoholism, it’s important to choose an alcohol rehab facility that can determine whether dual diagnosis exists. At SouthCoast Recovery, our professional staff members give a clinical evaluation to every client that takes into account past history of health, drug and alcohol use, mood disorders, family dynamics, behavioral patterns, etc. From this clinical evaluation, a personalized treatment program is tailored that consists of one-on-one clinical therapy, individual drug and alcohol counseling and holistic therapies that compliment relief of alcoholism and depression simultaneously.

Alcoholism and Depression: Clinical Therapy

Unless depression is treated in conjunction with alcoholism, the likelihood that an individual will remain sober long-term is slim. A person can white-knuckle through sobriety and depression but the point of getting sober is not just to be free of alcohol, but to be free of the emotional pain that caused a need for alcohol in the first place. SouthCoast Recovery has a clinical therapist on staff who has 44 years in the treatment of underlying issues such as depression and anxiety that are coupled with alcoholism. depression has been described as anger turned inward and this can be for any number of unresolved issues: childhood or adult abuse or trauma, family patterns, repressed memories or any combination thereof. Clinical therapy combined with drug and alcohol counseling helps bring these underlying issues to the surface and release them so healing can begin.

Alcoholism and Depression: Detoxification

Alcohol is often used to cover up depression but rather than cure depression it simply enhances it when the effects of alcohol wear off. This may be felt most acutely during the initial weeks in alcohol rehab. Depression can also come as a result of detoxification. Once a person admits himself or herself into an alcohol rehabilitation clinic, the first major step towards recovery from alcohol is to detox. Detoxing allows the body to withdrawal from the physical dependence upon alcohol in a safe and comfortable manner. At SouthCoast Recovery, clients who suffer from an ongoing battle with alcohol addiction will most likely have a medical detox where a mild form of prescription medication is used to ensure a safe withdrawal. Immediate cessation of alcohol can lead to severe disruptions in the nervous system, resulting in seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens (DTs). A medically supervised detox is advised for this reason. While it may only take days for the body to adjust to the absence of alcohol, it can take months or even a year for the psychological balance to restore itself. This psychological withdrawal can lead to depression.

Alcoholism and Depression: Treatment at SouthCoast Recovery

SouthCoast Recovery offers treatment for alcoholism and depression for 30, 60, 90 days and 6 month residential stays. The finest medical and clinical care is combined with advanced holistic therapies of meditation, massage, acupuncture and herbal remedies to ensure a calm and balanced approach to wellness. Physical exercise can raise serotonin levels and for this reason a complimentary 30-day pass is provided to the local 24 hour fitness center. Activities in the southern California area are planned to the beach, L.A. studio tapings and theme parks to show clients they can have fun in sobriety after the debilitating effects of alcoholism and depression are relieved. For more information on alcoholism and depression treatment at SouthCoast Recovery, call us today. Our intake coordinators are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call today.


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