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Alcohol, Depression and Suicide

Alcohol, Depression and Suicide

Alcohol, Depression and Suicide

Sometimes life sucks. Really sucks. Your grades are bad. You get dumped. Your parents are ragging on you to do something with your life. They're tired of supporting you. They're more interested in their own problems than in yours. There's no one you can turn to, no one who can help you. So maybe you look for comfort in alcohol, but soon discover there are no solutions in a bottle - only more problems.

Alcohol abuse has a web - like relationship with depression and suicide. You drink because you're depressed; alcohol, being a depressant, brings you down even more, creating a feeling of hopelessness.

It works like this: the toxic effects of alcohol can manipulate your brain's neuro-transmitters, which are responsible for mood and judgment. This can plunge you into deeper depression and bring about thoughts of suicide. It can also create a continuous cycle of drinking and depression: the more you drink, the more depressed you become, and the more you drink. Quite a Catch-22 - and you're the one who's caught.

Alcohol-induced depression and hopelessness are characterized by self-pity, social withdrawal, self-reproach, a sense of guilt, and a retardation of normal mental processes. You may not care about the effects of drinking on your personal well-being, and suicide may begin to seem like a logical solution to your problems.

So if you're depressed and have low self-esteem, look for help from a professional counselor, not from alcohol abuse. As we've seen, alcohol abuse only deepens depression. In fact, alcohol and illegal drugs are significantly greater contributors to suicide than any other psychiatric disorders.

If you're depressed and would like to talk to someone about it, call the McNeese University Counseling Center 337-475-5136.