Alcoholism and Depression – Don’t Wait for Rock Bottom
Alcoholism and depression can be difficult when we are faced daily with ads portraying people having fun. Smiling faces, drinks in hand, and the message that alcohol is a large part of celebrating. We are given the impression that in order to be included in the social circles that matter, we drink. It loosens you up after a stress-filled day and allows you to relax and have a good time. At least that is the message. For many, however, alcohol is not a means to having a good time. It has destroyed families, jobs, and lives. For the alcoholic, those ads may as well be for the next Disney movie. They are that far from the reality of life addicted to alcohol.
Physical Consequences of Alcoholism and Depression
As with any illness, alcohol addiction has a variety of physical consequences. Initially, your body relaxes and inhibitions are set aside. As you become drunk, you may find yourself unsteady, seeing unclearly, and thinking unclearly. As time goes on and the number of times you drink increases, changes in your mind take place. You find you actually feel more “real” when you drink. You start feeling like you can’t face daily life without a drink to help you cope. Your body starts to react badly when you don’t drink.
More time passes and you find yourself needing more alcohol to feel capable. Yet your body starts to experience symptoms of illness. You lose weight, have more medical issues and outwardly show signs of aging beyond what your actual years say you should. You may find yourself uninterested in proper hygiene. Without a drink, you feel you can’t start your day.
As obsession with alcohol takes up a bigger portion of your attention, relationships become strained. You may lose interest in intimate activity with your significant other, feel annoyed when the kids want you to do something that doesn’t involve alcohol and find you are getting fewer and fewer social invitations because people don’t want to have you around when you are drunk. You miss work often due to hangovers or illness and may find yourself fired.
Money, or lack of money, becomes an issue as you spend more on alcohol. Your marriage may end and you can find yourself out of a home. As bills are left go, you may be facing bankruptcy. Yet, your need for a drink is as strong as ever. The physical need is strong and the psychological dependency is strong, yet you may hate yourself and the alcohol more each day. You feel somehow defective for not being able to stop drinking. As your mental health deteriorates, you drink more to deal with the emotion.
One day you wake up and somewhere inside wish you hadn’t. You look around and everything you once had is gone – family, friends, health, home, and job. You realize you can’t even count on yourself. The alcohol has won and your dependency on it has left you feeling lost and defeated. You have fallen as far as you believe possible.
It is at this point that most people finally reach out for help, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Long before you reach this point, you will know you have a problem. People around you will express concern, you will find relationships becoming strained or receive a warning at work. In your heart, you know there is a problem, one that you can’t solve alone. Now is the time to reach out and grab hold of the helping hand that is waiting for you. There is no shame in admitting you can’t do something alone. Addiction is powerful. Alcohol has brought some of the strongest individuals to their knees. By admitting your problem and being willing to ask for help, you will be making a step toward saving your home, your emotional health, and possibly even your life.