Alcohol & Depression Treatment

Dual diagnosis, also known as cooccurring disorders and comorbid disorders, is a term used to describe someone who suffers from drug addiction and mental illness simultaneously. In the addiction treatment world, it’s usually referred to as double trouble in recovery.

Alcohol and depression treatment is available at Excel Behavioral Health in Boca Raton, FL.

Some substances and mental disorders are linked for one reason or another. The strong connection that alcohol has with mood disorders is well documented, and almost 40% of alcoholic’s exhibit symptoms of dual diagnosis [1].

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Alcoholism and Depression

The link between alcohol and depression is very real and programs to deal with both simultaneously are common at dual diagnosis treatment centers. Alcohol and depression treatment has helped millions of people take control of their lives in meaningful and permanent ways.

For most dual diagnosis patients, mood disturbances are the most common mental illness associated with alcohol. In fact, 80% of all alcoholics suffer a severe mood disorder in their drinking careers. Bipolar disorder is the second most common mental illness alcoholics are diagnosed with [1].

Excel Behavioral Health offers alcohol and depression treatment as well as treatment for any mental disorders related to alcoholism.

Alcohol and depression treatment at Excel includes:

  • Medically supervised detox from alcohol
  • Alcohol rehab and mental disorder treatment
  • Individual and group counselling
  • Inpatient and Outpatient rehab
  • Sober living homes

Treatment begins as soon as you enter our addiction treatment facility.

Emotional Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The age at which a person begins to use alcohol can have a drastic affect on how that person develops mentally. Addiction scientists are discovering that the earlier you begin drinking, the more likely you are to experience alcohol related mood disorders [2].

Alcohol causes a short-term increase of serotonin released in your brain, leading to an emotional hangover after drinking. After continued, long-term exposure to alcohol, the serotonin signal-receiving cells will not function correctly, causing long term depression and mood disorders [3].

While intoxication can cause bouts of anger and depression, withdrawals can cause anxiety and panic related to the physical and emotional effects of alcohol. Alcohol and depression treatment aim curing both the emotional and physical effects of alcohol.

Physical effects of alcohol

Your brain is psychically affected by alcohol as well. Alcohol is a depressant, which is common knowledge. Alcohol mimics a brain chemical called Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA.

Alcohol enhances the effects of GABA in your brain, which makes you feel relaxed and calm. The more alcohol you drink and the more often you drink it, the less GABA your body will produce, naturally.

Eventually, your body will produce very little GABA at all.

When you stop drinking and begin alcohol detox, your brain will no long be producing the required amount of GABA to relax you and you’ll begin shaking and your body does into overdrive because there isn’t enough GABA to calm yourself down. Death is very likely.

Long Term Effects of Alcoholism

  • Tremors
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sleeping problems

Alcohol is a depressant and can cause depression, even if just temporarily. Enough alcohol will completely depress your central nerves system, causing death. Alcohol affects the entire brain and for that reason it can be devastating.

Signs of Mood Disorders and Alcoholism

Eventually, the effect alcohol has on mood is significant. The signs that alcohol and mental illness is tied in a patient are apparent. If any of these symptoms occur often, you should seek our alcohol and depression treatment, or at a minimum speak to a counsellor.

  • Lesser amounts of alcohol cause euphoria while substantial amounts unleash anger or sadness.
  • The occurrence of tremors during alcohol withdrawals.
  • Significant mood changes during “hangovers” including a feeling of anxiety and panic.
  • Binge drinking triggered by mood changes including stress, sadness or extreme happiness.

You can test your own dependence on alcohol by making notes of your recent experiences with alcohol. It’s important not to self-diagnose or follow any treatment plan not given to you by a trained dual diagnosis professional.

Seek help at Excel Behavioral Health.


[1]: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Alcoholism and Psychiatric Disorders

[2]: Journal of Substance Abuse – Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence results from the national longitudinal alcohol epidemiologic survey

[3]: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Serotonin’s Role in Alcohol’s Effects On The Brain [PDF]

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