The Connection Between Depression and Alcohol

Written by Joe Dabbs, Director of Therapist Practice

Depression and Alcohol

It has been proven that there is a connection between depression and alcohol. It seems that it can work in two ways: 1. Your regularly drink too much or binge drink which makes you feel depressed, or 2. you drink to relieve the feelings of depression. Either situation increases the risk of having depression because alcohol affects the chemistry of the brain. This is because alcohol is a depressant. Hangovers can create a cycle of waking up feeling ill, anxious, guilty, and depressed. Life gets more difficult - arguments with family and friends, problems at work, memory issues, and physical/mental health issues can happen.

Research has shown that most drinkers with depression will start to feel better within a few weeks of stopping their drinking. Stopping drinking can be difficult in itself. Using a therapist can be very helpful in accomplishing the goal of stopping to drink. If drinking is too hard to stop, a therapist can help with finding the right options and the correct fit to your current life situation. Once the drinking has stopped (minimum of 4 weeks) the symptoms of depression may subside. If the depressive symptoms continue, working with your therapist is essential in finding the cause and learning skills and techniques to overcome the depression. Many times, the depression is connected to common life situations. These situations include relationship problems, work problems, loss or grief, and past struggles or triggers that have never been processed. This can take several months to overcome and why using therapy is so crucial in mastering the depressive symptoms and finding the cause(s).

Due to the nature of co-occurring conditions (more than one mental health and/or substance use issue), it is highly recommended that individuals receive treatment from a licensed therapist specializing in mental health issues. Recovery Club America specializes in all mental health issues and their therapists specialize in diagnosing and treating co-occurring conditions. Recovery Club America also has psychiatrist who can provide medication management for mental and health and substance use issues. Using the resources that Recovery Club America offers gives people safe, confidential, and effective treatment. The treatment options prepare people to acclimate back into everyday life and have a better overall quality of life.

Joe Dabbs

Joe Dabbs


Director of Therapist Practices