Alcohol is a depressant. This, we know. But the immediate effects of a few cocktails can feel far from depressing. And for someone who’s already down and out, the mood-enhancing effects of alcohol can prove pretty tempting… hence the prevalence of booze as a form of self-medication. Check out your local bar, and there are bound to be more than a few folks occupying booths and bar stools who suffer from clinical depression. Drinking and depression are a nasty (and common) duo.
Compounding this issue is the fact that binge drinking is, um, everywhere. Forty percent of college students report the behavior, and according to the CDC, one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month. The CDC’s list of health issues associated with binge drinking is sobering (so to speak), and includes unintentional and intentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, high blood pressure, liver disease, neurological damage and sexual dysfunction. Nobody needs those on top of depression, now do they?