Guest Author - Lisa Angelettie M.S.W.
There is a strong but silent majority of you who suffer from depression and look everyday to stifle the feelings of isolation, desperation, and just plain sadness through drinking alcohol a.k.a. liquor.
While there is a huge array of helping groups who would love to tell you just why you're drinking and what you need to do about it - I have one simple thing to tell you.
Alcohol is a biochemical depressant in human beings. By drinking it you are only exaccerbating your symptoms. In other words, you are like a hamster on a wheel - going round and round and never getting anywhere.
I know! I know what you're saying...The depression is ruining your good night's sleep. You can't sleep at night. You're tired during the day. You need two glasses of wine in order to get to sleep.
Well, while alcohol can definitely make you very sleepy and even cause you to pass out when you have reached or surpassed your legal alcohol limit, it actually will cause sleep disruptions and make your insomnia or erratic sleep patterns even worse. Haven't you noticed?
You are well on your way down a slippery path of being sleep deprived if you start to use alcohol as a daily sleeping aid. It's not the solution.
So now you're asking, "Well what I'm suppose to do about this pain and misery I'm in? I'm not happy. I need something to help me to forget. It's not hurting anyone."
Well, alcohol may seem like your very best friend for two or even three weeks after a crisis period has passed, but then as well all have to do - we have to face reality and realize that it isn't solving our problems or curing us of anything.
So if you are depressed, try to take notice over a few days of how much alcohol you consume. Two or three glasses of wine with dinner, plus something right after work to take the edge off? If this sounds like you - you may be using alcohol as your own personal cure for depression.
So I'll say it again. This DOES NOT work. You are defeating your own purpose which was to feel better.
Alcohol does not work as a stress management tool or sleep aid. It is an extravagance and an indulgence. So what should you do?
1. The first key is recognizing that you may be using alcohol inappropriately.
2. The second is to take notice of how often and when you consume alcohol.
3. The third is to start to cut that intake by half, then by half again.
4. The fourth is to seek some sort of talk therapy and additional medical/professional help for your depression.
5. The fifth but not final step is to keep educating yourself about your depression. Treatment models. And the search for alternative ways to alter your mood.
Lisa Angelettie, "GirlShrink" is an online advice authority. Her site GirlShrink.com is the #1 "Advice & Counseling" site on the web. Instantly get a FREE Bonus when you sign up for her free Better Choices Ezine. Please visit us for more discussion on this topic in the depression forum to talk about it further. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for topics in the news, new articles, website & book reviews, and other useful mental health resources. Subscribe below.