Does Alcohol cause depression?

does alcohol cause depressionDoes Alcohol cause depression?


The debate continues.

The latest research from a study done in Western Australia says NO.

They conducted a study of 3873 elderly men over a course of 3 years to test the theory that alcohol  causes people to become depressed.

What did they find?

Notice what the University of Western Australia school of  psychiatry and clinical neurosciences professor Osvaldo Almeida said:

“We found (as expected) that this particular genetic variant was  associated with reduced alcohol use, but it had no association with depression  whatsoever,” he said.

“The conclusion is that alcohol use neither causes  nor prevents depression in older men.  Our results also debunk the view  that mild to moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of  depression.”

Prof Almeida said the association observed between alcohol  and depression could be explained by other factors, but not by alcohol  itself.

Does that mean that it is SAFE for people that are depressed to drink alcohol to NUMB the pain?

The doctor goes on to say?

“It doesn’t mean alcohol is entirely safe and people can consume  it in whatever way they like.  We know that alcohol when consumed in excess  does create a lot of health problems – but what we now know is that one of those  problems is not depression.”

How do other experts weigh in on the question of whether alcohol causes depression or not?


The website tells us

“It’s not clear yet whether depression triggers alcohol abuse or vice versa, but it’s very likely that they share common triggers. Studies of twins have shown that the same factors that contribute to heavy drinking in families also contribute to the risk for major depression.

Researchers have been searching for a common gene or genes that might lie behind both conditions. They have pinpointed at least one — a variant of the gene CHRM2 — that is involved in several important brain functions, including memory and attention. Variations in this gene might put people at risk for alcohol dependence and depression.” goes on to say their is a link to a persons home life and social environment. It rep[orts, “Children who have been abused or who were raised in poverty appear to be more likely to develop both conditions.”

It concludes:

“Drinking will only worsen the depression you already feel. People who are depressed and who abuse alcohol have more frequent and severe episodes of depression, and are more likely to think about committing suicide.” tells us that there is a HIGHER risk for suicide when YOU combine depression + alcohol:

It also reports:

  • Alcohol abuse can exaggerate depression and increase impulsiveness.
  • Alcohol frequently is detected in suicide methods involving driving a moving vehicle or overdosing.
  • Alcohol impairs judgment, which explains its association with painful suicide methods.

Science daily reports the opposite of the WA findings in an article called, Alcohol Abusers’ Depression Often Related to Drinking

“I don’t know that the average person realizes that heavy drinking can induce mood problems,” said lead researcher Marc A. Schuckit, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.”

The dr. concludes: “If you’re an alcoholic, you’re going to have a lot of mood problems,” Schuckit said. “And you may be tempted to say, ‘Well, I drink a lot because I’m depressed.’ You may be right, but it’s even more likely that you’re depressed because you drink heavily.”

The examiner tells us that Alcohol causes depression rather than curing it.

This 4 minute video addresses the connection between the two illnesses.

In this video Dr. Connor Farren talks about the relationship between the consumption of alcohol and depression. He explains the thinking behind the new terminology ‘Alcohol Use Disorder’ and the checklist of 11 criteria, 2 of which are needed to be diagnosed with AUD

In the end It sounds like the old adage, “Which came first the chicken or the egg?”

Does alcohol cause depression or does depression cause drinking alcohol?

Be sure the debate is not over.

Rest assured though, that MIXING of the two EITHER way is not good for YOUR health.

If YOU are looking for someone to talk to reach out to one of our therapists in Pinebush NY.

We welcome YOUR comments below.

Tell us do you think alcohol causes depression or vice versa AND why?

The staff at


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