Date PostedApril 2, 2014

Excessive Holiday Drinking, Can it lead to Post-drinking Depression?

According to experts people who suffer from alcohol addiction or dependence most often also suffer with at least one mental health disorder, many of them suffering severe depression. Researchers believe that people with alcohol abuse problems also are more likely to suffer from other mental health issues particularly depression.

Doctors often battle to figure out which came first in these cases, the alcohol dependency or the mental health issues.

There is a link between alcohol abuse and depression however in most cases it is difficult to figure out which came first. People that have a history of alcohol abuse in their family, similarly to those who have mental health conditions in their family history are also more likely to suffer from these conditions.

Perhaps even more dangerous than having just one of these conditions is suffering from a combination of the both. People who suffer from these 2 conditions are more likely to attempt suicide and engage in other risky behaviour.

But many people who aren’t problem drinkers during other times of the year tend to over-do it when the festive season comes around, are these people at risk of suffering post drinking depression?

This is a strongly debated topic and there are studies which claim to have discovered a link between the 2, whereas other researchers claim that alcohol is not linked to depression.

While depression can certainly lead to alcohol abuse if the person chooses to use alcohol as a coping mechanism, the link between alcohol consumption and depression is debatable. People often drink to “drown their sorrows” or when they are depressed alcohol seems to take the edge off but not everyone who drinks suffers from depression afterwards.

The best thing to do is drink in moderation. Even if you are drinking to relax, calm your nerves or overcome feelings of sadness (which is never a good idea, it is best to deal with ones issues than mask them with alcohol), drinking should never be done in excess.

Drinking in moderation carries with it a number of benefits for both health and mental wellbeing but excessive drinking can in fact cause severe sicknesses, diseases and other side effects.

There are often people who suffer from alcoholism and the effects of these addictions may lead them to become depressed but alcohol in itself doesn’t necessarily cause depression. Alcohol does have the ability to affect our moods, but moderate, occasional drinking is usually a mood lifter rather than a depressant.

People with alcohol addiction problems who are undergoing treatment or are in rehabilitation often also suffer from severe depression as they are weaned slowly off the alcohol but this is caused by the addiction, as a person recovering from any other addiction may experience when they are cut off.

Over the holidays if you want to enjoy yourself and start 2014 out in one piece (literally and figuratively) it is best to drink in moderation and responsibly.

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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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