If you experience symptoms of depression; feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, loss of appetite/weight loss, increased appetite/weight gain, sleeping too much or too little, tearfulness, ache and pains, loss of energy, feelings of guilt, a sense of worthlessness, general irritability, difficulty concentrating on daily tasks, a loss of interest in activities or hobbies, or suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts, you should seek help and get evaluated. It would help if you also avoid alcohol.
If you drink more than you want to, have a hard time stopping drinking, experience remorse or feelings of guilt when you drink, have blackouts or hangovers, develop a tolerance for and have cravings for alcohol, you may have alcoholism. Again, you must seek medical attention and treatment. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and may require medical detox. Do attempt to stop on your own without proper evaluation and medical supervision.
Co-occurring alcoholism and depression are treatable but require a dual-diagnosis program with proper psychiatric care and knowledgeable staff. The program should include educational and therapeutic components to educate about depression and alcoholism and treat both conditions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective therapy for both conditions, and medication management is an important component. Activities such as yoga and art therapy can also be helpful. Support groups such as AA are important for early recovery, as well as on-going maintenance. A long-term approach to treatment and an understanding that daily care and attention to both conditions are necessary will ensure continuous recovery. Getting the right start with a treatment program that prepares you appropriately will ensure a smoother road to recovery.