The topic of depression and alcohol is one that is enthusiastically debated in many academic circles. Some experts suggest that having one or two drinks a day can lower the risk of heart disease and reduce stress levels. Others suggest that there are better alternatives in the quest to achieve optimal health such as exercise and diet. And still others are somewhere in between.
Part of the problem with alcohol, as it relates to depression, is that it is difficult for some to have just one drink. Another concern is that depressed people often times want to drink their troubles away only to find the next day that their troubles not only still exist but have taken a turn for the worse.
So what is the mechanism that makes alcohol so unpredictable?
When a person consumes alcohol it is quickly converted into sugar much in the same way foods such as cookies, cakes, rice, and pastas are. The rapid spike in blood sugar (body fuel) may initially make you feel ten feet tall and bulletproof. It will make a person forget about those extra five pounds or the boyfriend who decided to go out with his friends on date night. This sounds pretty good so far, right?
Not so fast, the problem with masking depression with alcohol is that what goes up must come down. Carbohydrates when converted by the body to sugar signal an overproduction of insulin. The overproduction of insulin is a defense mechanism designed to neutralize blood sugar levels. For most once the blood sugar high is eliminated their depression returns along with an unsavory friend known as irritability. At this point more alcohol is needed to start the cycle again.
In the end alcohol and depression it is much like putting on a mask only to find when you take it off nothing much has changed. Alcohol is a brain depressant that increases insulin output and interferes with many brain cell processes, thus impacting judgment. While alcohol may initially mask depression continued use can lead to alcohol dependency along with a myriad of other dangerous health conditions.
Additionally, many of those suffering with bouts of mild to moderate depression are putting the bottle away and opting for natural herbal depression remedies. These all natural depression supplements are very safe and have shown to be effective in supporting both emotional and mental health. If you are looking for a natural option this is an avenue worth considering.