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The Relationship Between Alcohol and Depression

Updated on September 22, 2012

With the constant increase in the number of expectations individuals are expected to meet both in their social life and at work, the levels of depression are bound to be on the rise. One common misconception that will also contribute to the increase in the number of depression cases, both reported and unreported, is the stereotype that links alcohol and depression.

How Does Alcohol Cause Depression?

Research, as early as the year 2000, had established that alcohol lowers the levels of serotonin and nerepinephrine in the body hence increasing the impact of depression in individuals. Since alcohol is a depressant, it will only temporarily blunt the effects of stress hormones, your head and your nervous system. It is therefore very important that you keep off alcohol and meet you problems head on when you are most alert.

Even though most cases of depression are due to external environmental factors, the deficiency of folic acid in the body can also put you in the risk of being depressed. This is very common in older people since the production of the acid drastically drops as we age. The relationship between alcohol and depression in this case comes in with the fact that alcohol hastens up the breakdown of folic acid in the body leaving us at risk of depression.

It should also be noted that the relationship between these two varies across the genders. Past research whose findings were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in the year 1997 showed that for men, alcohol use preceded depression while in women depression preceded the use of alcohol. A fact that remains to hold true across the table is that when the alcohol wears off, you will remain more depressed than ever.

The relationship between alcohol and depression does not end at the level of hormones. It is an established fact that stress or drugs such as alcohol can activate a gene in the human genotype that is linked to depression and other mental disorders. The result of such an interaction is usually some severe or mild behavioral changes coupled with depression with the intensity subject to level of influence by the stimuli.

Another secrete that is related to the topic of depression and alcoholism is the fact that when ladies are subjected to the two, they tend to react with heightened levels of anxiety and depression disorders while men will resort to increased alcoholism ,violence and antisocial behaviors.

Since getting depressed in the modern world is an almost inevitable incidence, it is highly advisable that if you are to maintain your sanity keep the liquor at a distance and seek for help rather than “drowning your sorrows” just to wake up to a bigger version of them after your alcoholic hangover. Always think about alcohol and depression before getting drunk.


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    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      This is so true! My first urge when I feel very low is to get totally hammered! It always heightens any bad feelings you have and makes you feel ten times worse! Voted up and shared!