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Alcoholism & Depression

Learn about the connection between alcoholism and depression in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.


I'm frequently asked by people whether alcoholism and depression are related. Alcoholism and alcohol problems can often cause people to feel depressed. Alcohol is a depressant. When people start drinking, at first when they start drinking alcohol elevates one's mood. And then your mood decreases with more alcohol. So it is actually a depressant, even though some people do feel like they have fun and they feel light when they are on alcohol. It's not clear that alcohol necessarily causes depression; however, if one has a propensity towards depression, alcohol will worsen it and can accelerate a depressive process. So if you are depressed or even mildly depressed or have a history of depression, one should think very carefully about how much one drinks.

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