If you’re struggling with depression, alcohol may help you put your troubles aside for awhile. Unfortunately, the short-term benefits of treating depression with alcohol are short-lived, but the long-term consequences can be devastating.
Alcohol Can Intensify Depression
A central nervous system depressant, alcohol has a sedative effect and can actually magnify your depression, leaving you feeling sick, guilty and jittery the next day. Over time, drinking can worsen depression by lowering serotonin and other mood-leveling chemicals in your brain.
Alcohol Isn’t an Easy Fix
Alcohol won’t solve your problems, but drowning your sorrows might create a set of new woes. A serious problem with alcohol may lead to relationship problems, job loss, financial disaster and legal issues, not to mention an increased potential for illness, injury and death.
Alcohol Won’t Help You Sleep
It may seem like you sleep better when you’re under the influence, and it’s true that you might fall asleep faster. However, alcohol tends to prevent deep, restful sleep and you may end up feeling exhausted the next morning.
Alcohol Increases the Risk of Suicide
Studies indicate that alcoholics who are depressed are nearly 60 percent more likely to commit suicide than depressed patients who don’t drink excessively, with a higher rate of both attempted and completed suicides. Alcohol tends to deepen depression, skew judgment and remove inhibitions.
Alcohol is often implicated in suicides of veterans, teen boys and the elderly. The risk of suicide increases substantially according to the amount and length of time heavy drinking continues.