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Alcohol and Depression

Alcohol and Depression: What to Do

It probably won't hurt to have a glass of wine or beer once in awhile to help you relax (unless you have a health problem that prevents you from drinking), but if you're using alcohol on a regular basis as a coping mechanism, it may be a sign that you have a more serious problem.

Drinking will only worsen the depression you already feel. People who are depressed and who abuse alcohol have more frequent and severe episodes of depression, and are more likely to think about committing suicide.

Alcohol abuse and depression are both serious problems that you shouldn't ignore. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, talk to your doctor or psychologist, or get help from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or another alcohol treatment center in your area. Also talk to your doctor or another health care professional about getting help for depression. There is some evidence that taking antidepressants may help relieve depression and reduce alcohol abuse, and a number of other medicines are available that can directly help to reduce alcohol cravings and counter the desire to drink heavily.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 23, 2012

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