The University of Southern California has released a study showing that people who drink to improve one’s mood are more likely to become dependent on alcohol and are more prone to depression. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism causes one to ignore what’s really going on emotionally and negative feelings can ferment, leading to depression, which usually leads to more drinking. This is especially alarming because of another recent study showing that adolescents that drink when depressed are at a higher risk of suicidal behavior.
When the alcohol and drugs are taken away from an addict or alcoholic, the negative feelings can remain. This is why I am glad I got clean in treatment because it gave me a safe place to address my depression and other issues. As I detoxed, doctors were finally able to get a better diagnosis for me, since there weren’t any drugs in me altering my mood. I learned more positive ways to deal with my depression. As I addressed the underlying issue in residential treatment, I began to find ways to deal with my feelings that didn’t involve cutting, using drugs, drinking, or my eating disorder. I learned that I couldn’t always control my brain and my feelings but that I could change how I reacted to those feelings. I had to learn to take responsibility for my life and my recovery. This comprehensive approach to my situation let me leave treatment a whole person, the person I was meant to be.
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