Essay on Alcohol and Depression

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844 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to a condition known as alcoholism. Alcoholism is that condition whereby use of alcohol becomes uncontrollably resulting in both physical, mental problems. Persons suffering from this addiction suffer from acute depression and anxiety which makes treatment of the same problematic (Austrian 2005). The result is more consumption of the substance in a bid to reduce or escape the anxiety and depression. Alcoholism also comes about with other effects such as complete damage of body organs such as the liver, job loss due to unproductivity, loss of family and in extreme cases, the resulting depression leads to suicidal thoughts or even the act itself (Balch 2006). The study will examine alcohol and it is linked to depression.

Research done by National Centre for Biotechnology information has shown that alcohol reduces anxiety temporarily, but the long-term effect is the development of the anxiety disorder or acceleration of the same if it existed before (Balch 2006). Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to the rewiring of the brain. The results are that the individual becomes more vulnerable to the development of anxiety issues. Withdrawal symptoms creep in once the effects of alcohol wither from the victim's body. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, acute nausea increased heart palpitations and trembling. The signs above indicate depression. The result is that the individual will result back to drinking to rise the alcohol-blood contentment in a bid to alleviate the symptoms (Austrian 2005).

Alcohol is expensive especially for persons with low income or persons with a lot of financial responsibilities. Alcoholism can drag someone into money problems or even bankruptcy in extreme case. Others lose their jobs since they are unproductive in their undertakings. Getting into crime, being deserted by family members are other consequences. The feeling of loneliness develops into depression and craving for more alcohol. Alcoholism brings about memory loss, fights in households, marital and sexual problems (Balch 2006). The spouses of the alcoholics suffer from this, and they result in separation or even divorce. The stress of dealing with low or no sexual performance coupled with divorce or separation further pushes the victim into acute depression and subsequent search for alcohol.

The good news is that alcoholism and its effects are treatable or minimized to controllable levels. The treatment chosen must be one that will guide the individual into a drug-free lifestyle and reduce the risks of a relapse. No single treatment can be pointed out to be appropriate for any individual. The desire and willingness to stay clean after detox will justify the means. The first step in any recovery procedure is the acceptance that the problem exists, accept to receive help and strive to maintain an alcohol-free lifestyle once treatment is complete. The risk of relapse is always high (Manzardo 2008).

The correct way to accomplishing this is to stop binge drinking. It will only work for individuals who are not so much addicted to the substance and can do without the drink. Otherwise, immediate withdrawal from use of alcohol may bring about withdrawal symptoms and their effects can be disastrous. It is prudent to solicit an expert opinion first before embarking on these mechanisms.

Therapy is another treatment modality that can be used to cure substance dependence and its effects. Alcoholism is treatable through cognitive behavioral therapy, and it addresses both the vice and anxiety. This type of treatment aims at changing patterns to alter the behavioral patterns that arise from substance abuse (Austrian 2005).All three conditions must be treated simultaneously. Strategies used to deal with one problem need to be modified to bring about an integrated approach that will bring about recovery for all conditions. Therapy helps a lot in bringing back the addicted person into productive behaviors and lifestyles as well as treat the mental and physical health. Freedom from alcoholism and substance abuse that the recovering addict will enjoy will depend solely on the choices he or she makes (Manzardo 2008).

Rehabilitation is another modality that is applicable in acute cases. Persons with severe addictions, anxiety, and depressions can have themselves booked into a rehabilitation center where treatment is administered (Manzardo 2008). Rehabilitation requires complete abstinence from the substance. The latter brings about withdrawal symptoms and sickness, which is treatable through the use of approved medication. After the rehabilitation process, a drug-free lifestyle solely depends on the openness and total willingness of the recovering addict to maintain a clean life and resist all urges to relapse.

Family counseling has proved to be an effective modality for treating substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. A close-knit family can show love and support to the addict, first by trying to solve the problems that may have dragged their member into addiction, showing care and supporting the addict into the substance-free lifestyle. Family counseling, care, and love ultimately promote sobriety, and this subsequently leads to curing the other disorders that may have been brought about by alcoholism.


Austrian, S. G. (2005). Mental disorders, medications, and clinical social work. New York: Columbia University Press.

Balch, P. A. (2006). Prescription for nutritional healing. New York: Avery.

Manzardo, A. (2008). Alcoholism: The facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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