Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK and following the publication of new research, Alcohol Concern has reinforced the complex relationship between the condition and excessive alcohol consumption.
A number of clinical research studies have showed that over a long period of time, excessive alcohol consumption can cause depressive symptoms. Regular drinking disrupts the brain’s chemical responses which alters the way it operates due to lower levels of serotonin being produced.
Furthermore, the relationship between depression and alcohol has been found to work both ways. Depression is found in heavy drinkers at a significantly higher rate than in the general population and those suffering from depression have an increased likelihood of excessive alcohol consumption and dependence in the future. Regardless of whether heavy alcohol consumption or depression came first, having one condition makes it significantly more likely that the other will develop.
It was also revealed that alcohol dependence is roughly three times more likely amongst those experiencing depression in comparison to non-depressive people. Suffering from depression can also make reducing alcohol consumption more difficult and it’s also harder to treat depression while drinking large amounts of alcohol.
The Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, Jackie Ballard commented:
“Alcohol is no ordinary product and people need to be aware of the risks associated with its use and how it can have both mental and physical effects. Reducing alcohol consumption can help to reduce symptoms and cutting it out altogether may be an important lifestyle change necessary for those suffering with depression.”
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Awareness Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.