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3 Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

3 Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

Alcohol abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of a mood disorder

While writing for the PsychCentral website, Richard K. Ries, M.D. writes in his article, “Mood Disorders and Alcohol and Drug Use” that mood disorders are pathologically elevated or depressed disturbances of mood. Mood disorders include both periods of depression and mania that occur together for a certain period of time. People that suffer from mood disorders often find that their symptoms become worse when they abuse alcohol. There is also a type of mood disorder called substance-induced mood disorder that is characterized by manic, depressed or mixed episodes from drinking. In other words, understanding the link between alcohol and mood disorders is important when dealing with an alcohol addiction, so seek professional help as soon as possible to address both of these issues at the same time.

Mood Disorders and Depression

Substance-induced mood disorders are characterized by prominent and persistent disturbances in mood in the following areas:

  • Depression, including a markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities the patient formerly found enjoyable
  • An elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts quite some time and is uncharacteristic of the patient

Along with these characteristics, this mood disorder shows evidence through physical examinations, lab tests of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal symptoms that occurred within one month of intoxication or detox.

Mood Disorder or Alcohol-Induced Issue

Because alcohol abuse can cause a substance-induced mood disorder, it is important to investigate whether the mood disorder was present before the alcohol problem or vice versa. For instance, a mood disorder may be completely separate from alcohol consumption if the symptoms of the mood disorder preceded the onset of substance abuse or dependence, if those symptoms persist for more than a month and they linger after the alcohol consumption has stopped or if they are unusually pronounced based on the amount of alcohol that has been consumed.

Mood Disorder Diagnosis

Mood disorders can be diagnosed and treated as part of alcohol addiction treatment. Dual Diagnosis treatment specializes in identifying mental illnesses that contribute to or cause addictions. Getting the right diagnosis for a mood disorder allows doctors and therapists to form the right treatment program to address both issues at the same time. Getting Dual Diagnosis treatment for a mood disorder and alcohol addiction greatly increases the likelihood of recovery success, so seek professional help to get and stay well.

Find Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction and a mood disorder at the same time, know that our staff is here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to our admissions coordinators about available treatment options. You can recover with the right help.