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3 Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

3 Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

Alcohol abuse can cause mood disorders

Mood disorders are a classification of mental health disorders that include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others. These conditions can be incredibly difficult to live with, and may unfortunately lead many to abuse drugs or alcohol. Because alcohol has such strong effects on the brain, the effects of intoxication can produce a variety of results that may negatively interact with mood disorders.

Alcohol Intoxication Can Mask Mood Disorders

Many of those with mood disorders turn to alcohol use when they feel overwhelmed by the symptoms of their illness. However, the use of alcohol to relieve these troubles can actually result in greater problems. When it occurs frequently, alcohol intoxication can mask mood disorders in a way that is unhealthy. These individuals may begin drinking more regularly, finding that their anxiety is less apparent and distressing when intoxicated. Alcohol is then used as a form of self-medication, with the belief that it will actually make things better. Through this process, though, the alcohol is simply masking the symptoms of the mood disorder without actually treating it. Once these individuals decide to stop using alcohol, they are bombarded with the reality that their mood disorder is still present and may even be worsened.

Alcohol Abuse Can Cause Mood Disorders

In some cases, those who regularly abuse alcohol can actually develop a mood disorder that was not previously present. Alcohol-induced mood disorders are those that begin after a person starts abusing alcohol. Symptoms of the disorder may be especially prominent during times of intoxication, but can continue between times of alcohol use. These disorders may develop as a result of altered chemicals in the brain. Many of the chemicals affected by alcohol use are the same ones correlated with mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. For this reason, alcohol-induced mood disorders can take the form of any of these conditions. They may have manic features, depressive features, or a mixture of the two.

Co-Existing Disorders Require Special Treatment

Frequent alcohol intoxication can quickly develop into addiction, which can be a serious concern for those who are already suffering from mood disorders. In addition to its effects on mental health, alcohol addiction can also impact a person’s physical, social, financial and spiritual wellbeing. These effects can create serious complications for those with mood disorders. When a person lives with both a mental health illness and substance abuse disorder, they are considered to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Unfortunately, co-occurring disorders are considerably more difficult to treat than either condition alone.

A special form of treatment, called integrated treatment, is a useful and effective way to help those with both a mood disorder and alcohol addiction. An integrated approach seeks to work with both the mood disorder and addiction at the same time by the same healthcare team. This approach creates better outcomes than approaches that treat the co-occurring disorders separately.

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse can lead to serious consequences, especially for those suffering from mood disorders. If you or a loved one has become addicted to alcohol, it is important to seek treatment. Therefore, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for alcohol addiction.

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