What is alcoholic depression and how is it treated?
Many people believe that alcohol can relieve depression. This is a serious misconception. In fact, depression associated with addictions is not a rarity in drug addiction medicine. It is especially common with the abuse of alcoholic beverages. Most alcoholics suffer from various degrees of alcoholic depression. Their intensity depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the period of time during which this occurs.
Short information about alcoholic depression
Most often, signs of depression are found in addicted people shortly after they decide to give up their addiction. Outwardly, it is almost imperceptible. It is also impossible to determine it by human behavior. This is precisely the reason that even the closest people are simply unaware of the development of this disease.
If you look at the situation through the eyes of an alcoholic, the signs of a psychological crisis are manifested in the following factors:
- Vision of the surrounding world and events exclusively in gray tones;
- All joy disappears from life;
- Bright and positive emotions and sensations disappear.
The alcoholic begins to live by inertia. He or she no longer has any goal, and even children, hobbies or profession ceases to interest them.
This condition can last from several days to several weeks or months. There are cases when depression lasted for several years. The occurrence of such a condition can lead to a relapse of unhealthy alcohol consumption. The chances of such a development are increased if there is no treatment.
During depression, people really want to enjoy life again, become significant and gain weight in society. They just want to forget about problems. These thoughts greatly increase the desire to return to drinking again. Thus, a persistent sense of hopelessness develops. And there is no need to hope that this condition will go away on its own, but it is necessary to look for ways to get rid of alcoholic depression. One of the best ways is to contact qualified professionals.
Why depression develops?
At the moment, experts identify the following reasons for the development of this condition:
1. Metabolic disorders;
2. Malfunctions of the central nervous system;
3. Disturbances in the functioning of the whole organism;
4. Short-term mental disorders caused by the influence of toxic substances on the body.
In addition, the cause of depression can be simply life circumstances that everyone can face, for example, troubles at work, in the family or just in personal life. To a large extent, women are susceptible to depression associated with alcohol abuse.
Even if you drink alcohol in moderation, it can gradually shatter the nervous system and disrupt its functionality. As a result, the person becomes aggressive and irritable. Thus, the vicious circle is formed. At first, there is dissatisfaction with one's life, then more and more aggression and irritability, then alcohol consumption, and then again disappointment in life.
How to know if someone has alcoholic depression?
Alcoholic depression and the symptoms associated with it develop after trying to stop drinking abruptly. At first, a person is a little worried about the fact that they have not been in a good mood for a certain time. Then, after drinking again, the first symptoms of depression may appear. At the initial stage, these symptoms will not look the least bit dangerous. At the same time, develops a characteristic feature -inhibition of mental and mental processes, when all desire and mood to do something disappears.
The state of alcoholic depression is divided by psychiatrists into two types: short-term and long-term. The first usually occurs after the amount of alcohol consumed exceeds all reasonable limits. It can last up to several days.
The second is a much more alarming and dangerous condition. It occurs in the case of a complete rejection of alcohol after a long period of heavy drinking. It is characterized by very strong psycho-emotional disorders. These can be a lack of interest in life, which begins to seem gray and insipid, as well as a complete loss of the meaning of life.
When alcoholic depression occurs, its symptoms and treatment are determined by the pronounced disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract and liver function characteristic of this stage of alcoholism. Cases of suicide or attempted suicide are very common. This is due to the feeling of uselessness and worthlessness caused by the influence of the post-alcohol syndrome on the human psyche. Sometimes a person may even have all sorts of hallucinations.
Cases of short-term depression can recur several times. In this case, in its symptoms, it begins to resemble manic-depressive psychosis. In this case, its main features are:
- Sad facial movements;
- General lethargy;
- Retarded mental activity;
- Muffled voice, etc.
During long-term alcoholic depression, the likelihood of suicidal thoughts is greatest. Therefore, all close people and relatives should be extremely careful in relation to a person who is addicted to alcohol. It is especially necessary to monitor them closely during periods when they refuse to drink alcohol.
Despite the similarity in names, alcoholic depression differs from a similar condition not caused by drinking. These differences lie in the fact that after 7-14 days after getting out of the binge, the depression goes away even without the use of any antidepressants and other medications. But it's not that simple. In the case of the development of a long-term form of this mental deviation, it must be treated with the use of medicines. If an alcoholic depression has developed, its treatment needs to be carried out with the help of specialists, otherwise everything can end very sadly.
Dangers and treatment of alcoholic depression
The main danger lies in the period when the alcohol dependent person decides to get out of the binge on his own. Sometimes such people can independently begin to heal themselves with various psychotropic substances, such as sedatives or tranquilizers. The result of such treatment can be a worsening of the condition and a return to alcohol abuse. Also, with self-medication, the following negative consequences may develop:
- Sleep dysfunction;
- Memory impairment;
- Slowing down of brain activity;
- Increased nervousness and anxiety;
- Inhibition of movements.
If a loved one who has developed an alcohol dependence has similar symptoms, it is strongly recommended that you contact a psychotherapist with experience in a drug treatment clinic as soon as possible. Otherwise, everything can end in suicide.
In no case should you rely on information read somewhere on how to get out of alcohol depression. Also, do not expect the alcoholic to take the initiative and decide to seek help from doctors. In most cases, they simply refuse to admit their problems and addiction.
Treatment of alcoholic depression largely depends on the desire of the person to undergo treatment not only for their mental state, but also on their addiction in general. If this is not observed, then it will be almost impossible to get rid of this pathology. The method of treatment is determined by doctors after a comprehensive examination of the patient. To simplify the procedure, at first the alcoholic is prescribed medication in the form of antidepressants (for instance, Imipramine), and then psychotherapy courses are prescribed, which teach how to cope with alcoholic depression and other phenomena typical for those who quit drinking. Also, the goal of this treatment is to teach the patient to enjoy life and cope with a variety of life's difficulties without resorting to alcohol.
According to leading experts in the field of drug addiction and psychiatry, the best way to get rid of addiction is to place a patient in a hospital. There they will not only get rid of addiction, but also cleanse the body of toxins that have accumulated in it during alcohol abuse. Self-treatment in the later stages of alcoholism is simply contraindicated. This is due to the fact that only a professional drug addict psychotherapist will be able to select treatment taking into account the individual characteristics of each individual patient.
Post by: John Johansson, M.D., Amsterdam, Netherlands
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