If you’re human, you feel sad sometimes. When a marriage ends, loved one dies or a job promotion doesn’t come. These are situations that can lead to alcoholism and depression. We now outline 7 steps you may implement to reduce your depression and alcoholism:
#1. Detox from alcohol before you treat your depression
Alcoholism is a physical addiction that will aggravate your addiction. After all, alcohol is a depressant. It thus makes sense to detox from alcohol before you attempt to treat the underlying depression. Once you detox from alcohol, your depression should begin to decrease. This will make you feel happier. If your depression totally disappears, you can conclude your depression was probably caused by your drinking.
5 Day Detox Kit
#2. Seek therapy for your depression
Now that you have detoxed from alcohol, you must re-assess your depression. If your depression continues despite quitting alcohol, you may be able to conclude your alcoholism was a symptom of your depression. In such a scenario, it’s important to see a therapist in order to treat your underlying depression. If you take no action, you risk relapsing since the conditions are still apt for your alcoholism to reappear.
Therapies we recommend for depression include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy and psychotherapy.
#3. Consider going to rehab
Therapy typically takes place on an ‘outpatient basis’. This means you receive therapy for an hour or two during the day and then return home. Another option is to undergo therapy on a ‘residential basis.’
Residential treatment means you live within a rehab centre whilst you undergo a detox and therapy sessions. This means you move from your environment were you drink alcohol. This makes your detox easier since alcohol is not available to you whilst you experience withdrawal symptoms.
Once you complete your detox (around 6 days into your rehab), you will then engage in intense sessions of CBT and psychotherapy that seek to treat your underlying depression. This is often advantageous to outpatient treatment because you receive lots of therapy in a short space of time. This may mean you get more out of your therapy sessions compared to spreading sessions over a long period of time on an outpatient basis.
We must stress that taking medications is a last resort. However, if you are not able to eliminate your depression using more natural alternatives, you may consider taking anti-depressants. To reduce your drinking, you may also consider taking disulfiram (Antabuse) and acamprosate (Campral).
Research confirms the effectiveness of exercise when it comes to the treatment of mood disorders such as depression. Robust cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, running and cycling are particularly effective when it comes to treating milder forms of depression.
Pilates Opti Exercise Ball
Relaxation techniques can effectively treat depression. The relaxation techniques we recommend include yoga, mindfulness and tai chi. These methods help you attain a state of deep relaxation.
#7. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) involves sending electric currents through the brain. These currents then trigger an epileptic seizure. This seizure can reduce symptoms associated with mood disorders. When you undertake ECT, you must receive a general anaesthetic and other muscle relaxants. This prevents a convulsion during the seizure.
ECT is typically reserved for people suffering from life-threatening depression, and when the person has not responded to less invasive forms of mood disorder treatments. ECT is also used to treat severe postnatal depression or where a person suffers from manic or psychotic episodes.
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