Both addiction and mental health conditions go hand in hand, recognised as co-occurring disorders. While the recognition of a dual diagnosis may be common, the link and cause between both remain complex and overwhelming to understand.

There is a vicious circle-like link between certain conditions such as alcoholism, with disorders such as depression, due to the intense changes found and fuelled within the brain. Psychological adaptations, from brain structure to chemical products are the leading cause for such a link, highlighting the multifaceted and complicated reality of dual diagnosis.

Understanding the link between alcohol and depression is therefore very important, to be aware of and digest the feelings that you may be encountering through independent or dual symptoms. Here’s some insight into the causes of both addiction and mental health vulnerabilities, along with available treatment for dual diagnosis, accessible here at Nova Recovery.

Here to offer professional diagnoses and effective treatment, our private recovery hospital is equipped to help you through your struggles with both alcohol abuse and depression.


Causes of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is a legal depressant drug, commonly used socially for its positive effects, such as relaxation, its distortive effects on reality and the internal rewards that it activates. Due to its positives and harmless nature, heavy alcohol consumption, such as binge drinking is normalised, already increasing the risks of habitual changes, such as addiction.

Causes of such connection are therefore linked heavily to emotional responses, to social acceptability and to the role that alcohol plays for many individuals. Influential environments can trigger alcohol abuse. Social pressures, norms and lifestyles can increase the rate of alcohol consumption. Biological vulnerabilities within genetics can increase the behavioural connections to stimuli, such as alcohol. Psychological weaknesses such as depression can also motivate the coping strategy of alcohol consumption.

A wide plethora of causations can kickstart alcohol consumption, soon turning its exposure into a consistent routine of fulfilment. While positives may be felt, alcoholism is, however, a dangerous and detrimental condition, requiring grave rehabilitation efforts.


Causes of Depression

The link between alcohol and depression has vaguely been touched on above, as depression causation for alcoholism. Yet their relationship is co-occurring, meaning that alcoholism can also stand as a cause for mental health conditions, including depression.

Depression is a difficult emotional response to live with, where individuals consistently feel low, lack self-worth and awareness, experience extreme plummets of emotions and also feel stuck with such feelings.

Known to impact everyday life once symptoms of depression persist, as a mental health condition, it is highly damaging when considering overall health and wellbeing, including stability, balance, and value of reality.

Again, caused by internal and external stimuli, anything from a stressful or unpredictable moment to trauma and chemical changes can induce symptoms of depression. However, one of the most prevalent is substance abuse, due to both internal changes and the consequences that alcohol addiction can result in.

Requiring the support of mental health treatments and therapies, depression can be treated, suppressed, and managed. Yet, in cases where a link between alcohol and depression concerns are high, dual diagnosis treatment will be required.


Both alcohol addiction and depression are standalone conditions, with specific symptoms and health concerns. However, there is a link between alcohol and depression when considering their impacts on the brain, resulting in susceptibilities of dual diagnosis.

A dual diagnosis can be very serious when co-occurring disorders fuel one another to such a consistent extreme. For example, depression as an existing condition can influence sufferers to rely on alcohol as a coping strategy, which over time will fulfil emotional needs, increasing the risk of addiction. Yet alcohol is a depressant, naturally reducing the organic functioning of the central nervous system and depleting happy chemicals, meaning that depression can be heightened through its presence.

In the moment of this example, alcohol will be seen as a positive tool, as initial consumption can mask symptoms of depression. Yet in fact, exposure to alcohol will activate the rebound effect, intensifying the lows.

The strength of a dual diagnosis can be very difficult to break, as lone mental health management is tough and as alcohol withdrawal is tough, never mind while combined together. Yet with professional support, the link can be broken, while also individually treating alcoholism and depression.

Warning signs of a dual diagnosis, to the point where support should be sourced, include:

  • The inability to stop consumption even through the consequences of depression
  • Heightened depression through either a lack of or extreme exposure to alcohol
  • Seeing alcohol as a reliever of stress, pressure, and sadness
  • Feeling isolated through the taboos of addiction and mental health issues
  • Physical symptoms indicating lower quality of life
  • Extreme changes to behaviour, personality, attitude, and mood
  • Living in denial through primary diagnoses


Diagnosing and Treating Dual Diagnosis

Through the signs and symptoms of problems with alcohol and depression, dual diagnosis treatment will inevitably follow. However, before such recommendation, here at Nova Recovery, we will aim to get to know you as a person, along with your struggles, to correctly diagnose a dual diagnosis. We will consider your habits, your alcohol consumption, your mental health and its stability, your overall health history, and your lifestyle.

With a clearer understanding of the link between alcohol and depression, in your life, suitable bouts of treatment and therapies can be advised from our private hospital.

Dual rehabilitation will be worked towards by completing two separate treatment programmes. Yet benefiting one another, co-occurring conditions can be detached, suppressed, treated, and managed.

Detoxification, rehabilitation, a range of addiction treatment services, relapse prevention and aftercare will be personally advised to work through alcoholism. For depression, mental health treatments, therapy sessions, motivational therapy, exposure therapy, relapse prevention and aftercare will be recommended. Together, programmes will fulfil dual diagnosis recovery, benefiting both primary and dual conditions.

Improving mental health will naturally adapt outlooks on alcohol consumption. Safely reducing alcohol abuse will directly reduce the strain of depression. Combined together, efforts can break the link between alcohol and depression, effectively completed through our private recovery hospital.

There are many challenges to experiencing a dual diagnosis, where both mental health and habitual behaviours have taken over. Avoid a lifetime of challenges through rehabilitation.

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