If you experience depression, you know how much it overtakes your thoughts and emotions. If you also abuse alcohol, this compounds the problem and makes it impossible to function fully in your life. New View Wellness in Atlanta understands that the combination of alcohol and depression means a person needs intensive treatment that addresses both conditions. Our outpatient programs provide focused care that treats both mental health disorders and substance use disorders. With our guidance, you can rise above depression while also learning to live a sober life. 

How Do Alcohol and Depression Impact Each Other?

Many times when someone has a stressful day, gets some bad news, or just wants to unwind, they reach for alcohol. Advertising and stereotypes market it as the answer to life’s difficulties. It’s also branded as part of all sorts of celebrations in life because it helps elevate people’s moods. The reality is that alcohol is actually a sedative and often brings on symptoms of depression. 

Someone who already suffers from depression often finds that drinking alcohol increases their symptoms. The symptoms that can last longer or become more severe when abusing alcohol include:

  • Lethargy
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feeling sad, lost, or hopeless
  • Malnutrition from not eating enough or overeating
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Lack of motivation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unstable moods
  • Crying 
  • Physical ailments such as headaches, body aches, and digestive difficulties

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the country, affecting between 10-15% of people during their lifetimes. As well, depression is the most common mental health disorder to co-occur in someone who has an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This makes it important for someone who struggles with both AUD and depression to seek a formal treatment program that helps address both conditions.

How Does Treatment for Alcoholism and Depression Work Together?

There is a huge advantage to getting treatment for alcoholism and depression at the same time. For many, alcohol abuse begins as an attempt to self-medicate in order to deal with depression. When someone feels an improvement in their symptoms of depression, it often correlates to a reduction in the desire to drink. 

In addition, someone who becomes sober often finds that symptoms of their depression begin to decrease. Being sober allows a person to begin to feel their feelings again instead of drowning them. As someone moves through the early days of recovery, it allows them to properly process their emotions and experiences through therapy. 

How Are Abuse of Alcohol and Depression Treated?

Many people don’t know that many of the same types of therapy can help people overcome both substance abuse, such as alcoholism, and a mental illness like depression – a dual-diagnosis disorder. Types of therapy that help people who struggle with both alcohol and depression include:

Psychotherapy: One-on-one therapy between a trained and licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, social worker, or psychiatric nurse. Sessions are private and help the individual openly discuss how alcoholism and depression impact their lives.

Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT teaches things like mindfulness, regulation of emotions, distress tolerance, and how to have healthy, balanced relationships.

Psychiatry in Atlanta: Psychiatry can combine talk therapy with any necessary prescription medications. Meds can help with the symptoms of depression, as well as help minimize withdrawal symptoms when someone stops drinking alcohol.

Family Therapy: The individual seeking treatment can invite their loved ones to participate in family therapy. This helps educate family members on the reality of alcohol and depression and learn how to be supportive of their loved ones.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT teaches people to recognize and reshape how they react to stressful thoughts, feelings, and urges.

Genetic Testing: This uses testing to predict which types of medications will be the best match for a person. 

Types of Programs That Address Both Alcohol and Depression

Contrary to what many may believe, a person does not need to move into a residential program in order to recover from a dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression. Outpatient programs can provide many of the same focused care provided in residential programs without requiring the person to live in a facility 24/7. 

Outpatient programs include varying levels of care. An initial assessment by the facility’s admissions staff will determine which type of treatment will meet each person’s specific needs. Choices for outpatient programs include:

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): Sessions take place several days per week and include many types of therapy.
  • Virtual IOP: The same valuable treatment modalities as in-person IOP, but the person can take advantage of them via virtual attendance from their homes.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): Ideal for someone who needs similar care offered by residential programs but can attend the sessions during the day and still live at home.

Find Treatment For Alcoholism and Depression in Atlanta, GA

Are you experiencing a combination of abuse of alcohol and depression creating a powerful combination that negatively impacts your life? New View Wellness in Atlanta treats both alcohol addiction and depression in order to help you heal without having to attend two separate facilities. We provide different levels of outpatient care that dramatically influence your ability to become sober and control the symptoms of depression. To find out more about how we can help treat alcoholism and depression, contact us today. Our admissions staff is happy to answer your questions and get you started on a life of recovery.