Binge Drinking and Depression
When people are feeling depressed many of them view alcohol as a comfort or stress reliever. In the beginning alcohol may even feel like it is making life easier but it is actually concealing a terrible truth. Alcohol can only make depression worse never better. This is because alcohol is known as a depressant. This means that alcohol depresses arousal levels and reduces excitability. Alcohol can not only worsen symptoms of depression but it can also cause depression in the first place. Alcohol induced depression is very common among people who engage in binge drinking.
What are the different kinds of depression?
- Minor depression that lasts a few days.
- Major depression lasts longer than two weeks, and the symptoms can be highly disruptive in the individual’s life. This can be referred to more technically as Dysthymic disorder.
- Alcohol induced depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that people experience due to the change of season. This condition is most common in those countries where there is a long dark winter.
- Some women experience postpartum depression after they have a baby. The cause of this will be hormonal changes in the body.
- A psychotic depression is where people also experience distorted thinking that has a psychotic nature. This is the most serious type of depression because the individual may be a danger to themselves or other people.
- Those individuals who are dealing with bipolar disorder will have periods where they suffer from the symptoms of depression – this may then be followed by period of mania.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- They feel drained of energy
- Inability to sleep at night.
- Turning to food for comfort. Alternatively the individual may completely lose their interest in food.
- Problems with forgetfulness.
- The individual may find it a real struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
- The activities they once enjoyed no longer feel satisfying.
- Pessimism about the future.
- They may feel guilty about things that happened in the past.
- Body aches and pains that seem to have no obvious cause.
- Difficulties with concentration.
- Alcohol and drug abuse. This includes dangerous patterns of consumption such as binge drinking.
- The individual feels irritable much of the time.
- The feeling that life lacks any real meaning or purpose.
- Low self esteem – the person may believe that they deserve to feel the way they do.
- Thoughts of committing suicide.
- Feeling disassociated from the world.
- The individual may feel like there is a barrier between them and other people.
- They do not feel like socializing. The individual may begin to isolate and avoid other people.
- A sad nostalgia for the past.
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking refers to a specific type of drinking that is particularly dangerous. Binge drinking is a type of drinking where the individual deliberately becomes intoxicated by consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a very short period of time. Bing drinking is usually a pattern of drinking most people only engage in on the weekends but it is still a form of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking is actually the most common form of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking means that the individual is deliberately trying to get drunk and this can cause all sorts of problems and trouble. It is not necessary for people to drink every day in order to suffer consequences from alcohol abuse; binge drinking just on weekends can easily cause consequences. What are the dangers of binge drinking?
- It can lead to symptoms of depression. It can also exacerbate existent depressive symptoms.
- Alcohol is damaging to every organ in the body. It is not necessary to be a daily drinker before entering the early stages of alcoholic liver disease.
- The individual will be more likely to commit crimes or become a victim of crimes when they are intoxicated.
- It can easily lead on to alcoholism. The vast majority of alcoholics will have started off as binge drinkers.
- It can lead to alcohol poisoning. Some people have died because their blood alcohol content reached levels that were excessively high.
- This is the pattern of drinking that is most likely to cause hangovers.
- Some people will experience blackouts when binge drinking. This means that there will be parts of the evening that they cannot remember.
- It can mean that people are unable to take care of their family, social, and work commitments the next day.
- When people are intoxicated they can do things that they later deeply regret.
- Binge drinking is associated with domestic violence.
- It is also associated with promiscuous and unsafe sex.
- People will make irrational and impulsive decisions when they are inebriated.
- Many people who commit suicide will have been binge drinking beforehand.
Binge drinking and depression
- There are number of reasons why binge drinking causes depression to get much worse. For instance, as mentioned above alcohol is a depressant. There is also the fact that if the person is already depressed then it means they are binge drinking to run or hid from their condition instead of treat it. This obviously makes things much worse in the long run.
- A person who is binge drinking often will regret what they did while they were drunk. This means they will have more things that are eating away at them.
- Binge drinking makes people more impulsive. If the person is already feeling depressed then they may engage in behaviors they might not normally consider doing while sober.
- Binge drinking will cause the person to have less self-control. This mixed with the fact that they have a reduced decision making capacity makes someone with depression a high risk for suicide.
- Binge drinking often means that he individual might often have problems with family members and loved ones. This can make depression worse trying to deal with that.
- Binge drinking will make an individual less capable of handling the symptoms of depression. This is because alcohol is a toxin that harms the body and mind.
When people with depression begin binge drinking they can get caught up in a vicious cycle. The symptoms of their depression make life unbearable and so they binge drink as a type of self-medication. When they do that they will feel better in the moment but the binge drinking is actually making the depression worse as listed above. This means when they sober up now their depression is even worse than it as before and causes the person to want to drink even more. This leads to a cycle of wanting to escape through binge drinking while the binge drinking causes more reasons to want to drink due to the worsening depression.