It is difficult to define alcoholism. The term is used for both dependence on alcohol and the abuse of alcohol.
It causes many unfavorable and difficult situations and consequences. A publication of the American Psychiatric Association, ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders', defines alcoholism as incorrect usage of alcohol.
Alcoholism refers to unacceptable levels of drinking and lacks any identifiable characteristics which are common to every person that suffers from it. It will affect your family and your behavioral patterns but they will not be identical in degree or effect with the experiences of other people who are affected by alcohol. While it is believed that you can control the extent and some effects of alcoholism through your actions, the occurrence and impact of other diseases are due to genetic or environmental factors over which you cannot exercise much, if any, control.
Alcoholism is a chronic disorder involving consuming high levels of alcoholic beverages than we can handle. It leads to total disruption of all relationships, responsibilities, and health.
Whichever way you view it, the fact remains that alcohol itself is a depressant and it feeds depressive symptoms. Therefore it might be accurate to say that alcohol contributes to the development of depression and creates the symptoms of alcoholism and depression.
The depression caused by alcohol starts in the body by first lowering the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. These are chemicals responsible for producing good feelings of normalcy and wellbeing.
Does Depression Lead to Alcohol Abuse?
Nearly one-third of people with major depression also have an alcohol problem, according to one major study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In many alcohol depression cases, depression may be the first to occur.
Research shows that children who are depressed are more prone to develop alcohol problems once they reach adolescence.
Teens who've had an episode of major depression are twice as likely as those who aren't depressed to start drinking alcohol.
Depression may be a particularly significant trigger for alcohol use in women, who are more than twice as likely to start drinking heavily if they have a history of depression. Experts say that women are more likely than men to self-medicate with alcohol.
Does Alcohol Abuse Lead to Depression?
A number of studies have shown that alcohol abuse increases the risk for depression. This connection may be because of the direct neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol exposure to the brain.
Researchers know that heavy alcohol consumption can lead to periods of depression.
Alcohol abuse also can have serious repercussions on a person's life, leading to financial and legal troubles, impaired thinking and judgment, as well as marital stress. If you're struggling with money or grappling with a failed relationship, you're more likely to feel depressed.