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Alcohol and Depression - Does Drinking Make Depression Worse?

Updated on May 1, 2011

Alcohol and depression

Depression affects all sorts of people, in all walks of life. Does drinking make depression worse?

How easy is it when you're feeling down, to just say "Hang it all I need a drink" or to go to the pub, supposedly for the company, but mostly to just drink. Or worse still, sit alone at home and have a few drinks.

Of course, drinking alcohol is the worst thing one can do when depressed. Alcoholic itself is actually a depressant, and will make feelings of anxiety and depression much worse. So for sure alcohol & depression do not mix at all well.

Alcohol is not the answer
Alcohol is not the answer

Drinking While Depressed

Alcohol destroys the B vitamins, as does nicotine, caffeine, and refined sugars. B vitamins are not stored by the body, so we are responsible for our daily intake in our diet.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is what gives the brain energy from glucose or blood sugar. Lack of this can lead to depression, also anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. The consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugars, also alcohol, will deplete the body's supply of B1.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) necessary for hormone formation and the chemical acetylcholine which help to prevent depression. Before deficiency will cause depression, chronic stress, and fatigue.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is needed in the manufacture of serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. The lack of these, of course, is one of the main causes of depression. B6 also helps to process amino acids, which in turn help build proteins and hormones.

Vitamin C is also vital in the fight against depression, and is depleted by alcohol.

Alcohol itself is a depressant and can make depression and anxiety much worse. Drinking thins the blood, thus increasing heart rate, which in turn can cause anxiety. Alcohol will lower the blood sugar which again causes anxiety. Drinking also causes dehydration, which again is another cause of depression, or feelings of anxiety and stress.

Does alcohol make depression worse? Definitely Yes.

Alcohol is absolutely not recommended with depression, although it could cause one to delve more deeply into the problem, possibly helping to resolve it, as opposed to hiding problems within oneself. I would suggest that this would be very rarely helpful, however.

One should remember that any feelings of relief from stress and anxiety brought about by alcohol, would only be at best short lived and the after-effects possibly worse than ever.

Alcohol & depression are definitely not a good mix! There are much easier, more effective ways of dealing with depression.


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    • profile image

      Depression... 5 years ago

      Alcoholic drink produces euphoria in the body so people feels energetic first the after his anxiety , worries and depression becomes much worse .

      Thank you for your informative hub.

    • dianew profile image

      dianew 6 years ago from Spain

      Thank you for this interesting comment and I wish you well. I too had an alcoholic partner, so I can sympathize. Thanks again and welcome to hubpages

    • cls67 profile image

      cls67 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your article, I have dealt with these behavior problems from my ex-husband for 20 years and I also have been taking Psychology classes, hoping to become an AODA counselor. I woke up one day asking myself why would I want to continue dealing with the same people day after day that I live with once I finally get my divorce. I decided to take general healthcare administrative assistant classes until I found out that my chronic pain disease is getting much worse and now after a recent car accident, which has made my condition even more disabling I am trying to find something that I might be able to do from home for a few hours from home. I have seen many different forms of alcoholics, from binge drinkers to daily and just weekend alcoholics. All of these surprise me, but it is all very interesting to me. I give you credit for telling your story and helping others. It takes a lot of courage. I want to thank you.

    • dianew profile image

      dianew 7 years ago from Spain

      Thanx jaybob217. I just read your article about your addiction, well done. I never had these problems, but have worked 35 years in the hospitality trade, so have seen the effects frequently. Luckily it taught me respect for alcohol, and I seldom drink except when out to dinner.Good luck to you.

    • jaybob217 profile image

      jaybob217 7 years ago

      Nice in-depth look at the effects of alcohol on depressive behavior. I agree totally, and from experience your comment about the good feeling may "be at best short lived and the after-effects possibly worse than ever"

    • AdinaH profile image

      AdinaH 8 years ago from UK

      I really agree with this. When you start drinking you feel better initially for about half an hour, but once it wears of are you drink too much, the depression gets much much worse. Not recommended!