Alcohol Depression: Symptoms and Treatment
Alcoholic depression is a kind of mental disorder in which a patient with alcoholism develops a sharp depression of mood, isolation, latent aggression.Table of contents: This results in alcoholic depression. The manifestation of alcoholic depression. The difference between alcoholic depression and other diseases, diagnostic features. Treatment of alcoholic depression
Depressive state can develop :
- at any stage of alcoholism;
- with abstinence syndrome;
- during remission;
- for complications of this disease - psychotic states, hallucinosis.
Severe alcoholic depression was investigated as a separate pathology in 1920 by E. Bleuler.The scientist drew attention to the similarity of manifestations that occur in people who abuse alcohol, with melancholia in manic-depressive psychosis.
As a result, there is an alcoholic depression
The probability of developing this condition is the higher the older the patient.This dependence is due to age-related disorders of metabolic processes and increasing, prolonged intoxication.
The onset of depression is based on impairment of neurotransmitter functions, in particular serotonin.Alcohol can cause a deficiency of this substance in the body, which leads to changes in the functions of the nervous system.
The constant accumulation of ethyl alcohol in the body and the slow removal of its toxic products of metabolism( acetaldehyde), leads to the growing destruction of nerve cells .The older the person, the slower his poison clearance takes place.The combination of destruction of the nervous tissue, and serotonin imbalance, are the main pathogenetic mechanisms of the formation of alcoholic depression.
Violation of magnesium and calcium metabolism promotes blocking of cellular metabolism and development of neurological manifestations - chills, rapid heart rate, sweating.
Promotes the development of depression and genetic deficiency of alcohol dehydrogenase - an enzyme that causes the rapid "disposal" of intermediate products of alcohol metabolism - acetaldehyde.A reduced amount of this enzyme leads to an excessive accumulation of poisons and promotes the development of a depressive clinic.
Manifestation of alcoholic depression
The severity of depressive manifestations depends on the period of alcoholism in which this condition occurred.
When it comes to , the first version of the depression, which has developed against excessive alcoholization, it can last for a short time, in an easy form, and pass on its own without active medical intervention. This form is characterized by a depressed mood.The patient experiences a feeling of guilt for the alcoholic excesses of .At the same time, he feels a marked fatigue( due to a decrease in the amount of glucose in the blood), weakness of the whole body.He is overcome by longing, distraction, anxiety, sensitivity to external stimuli.The duration of mild post-alcohol depression does not exceed several days.
The second form of the of a depressive disorder is characteristic of the withdrawal syndrome.Manifestations of it are already heavier. The development of this type of depression develops a few days after the end of the drinking-bout, amid a severe hangover in patients with advanced stages of alcoholism. This depression was described in 1920 by Bleuler and called it - alcoholic melancholy.This pathology can last for several weeks and even months.Without the help of medicine, severe complications often occur. Patients often commit suicidal behavior.There is a tendency to return to depressive episodes.
Complaints and manifestations of "alcoholic melancholy":
- the patient stops any activities, completely locked in himself, can sit for hours or lie;
- on the background of complete oppression can develop sharp emotional "jumps".Sick person suddenly leaves the depressed state and begins to experience a pronounced, but unproductive euphoria.However, this phase does not last long, and the depression is gaining strength again.It was to this phenomenon of the similarity of alcoholic depression and manic-depressive psychosis that Bleuler drew attention;
- mental reactions in the patient are severely inhibited, movements are slow, although periodic motor activity can be observed, but without certain goals;
- suffer all kinds of memory, thinking;
- a person in a depressed state stops sleeping normally.His sleep becomes superficial, restless, with frequent awakenings and "heavy", nightmarish dreams;
- is gradually developing a complex of its own uselessness, inferiority.The patient feels worthless.Self-abasement leads him to suicidal thoughts, which he can embody in attempted suicide;
- untreated cases are often characterized by personality change phenomena - depersonalization.In this state, the patient ceases to adequately perceive himself and the environment;
- is growing alarm, which has no reason.Fears contribute to an even greater "withdrawal" into oneself;
- when trying to find out what is bothering such a person, he will report on the thoughts of the hopelessness of his later life, the feeling of complete despair, the total loss of all interests.Against this background, any purposeful activity becomes impossible;
- marked closure provides periodic aggressive outbreaks, attacks of vicious irritability;
In the patient's body, physiological disorders develop.The appetite disappears, although there may be bouts of increased desire for food, in which the patient can eat a lot, and everything. Sexual instinct strongly or completely extinct.There is a change in the functions of the heart, intestines.
Difference of alcoholic depression from other diseases, diagnostic features of
The main difference between alcoholic depression and other similar mental states is the absence of hallucinatory experiences, crazy ideas found in "big" psychiatry .Emotional response of patients with alcoholism, although depleted, but it remains.Other depressions completely "extinguish" the emotions of patients.
If the narcologist determines the patient has developed a depressive state, then at this point it is very important to understand whether depression is a manifestation of the complication of alcoholism, or another disease.The doctor should understand - whether the alcohol dependence caused the development of "hidden" forms of depression in other diseases( bipolar disorder).
Treatment of alcoholic depression
Help with "alcoholic melancholy" must be provided in the hospital, in connection with possible suicidal excesses of .In more severe cases, you can confine yourself to outpatient therapy.
All medical measures should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment of alcoholism.For this purpose, explanatory work is carried out with the patients, since most of them do not recognize the original cause of their condition as the existing alcohol dependence.Therefore, the doctor should convince the patient that primarily he has a disease of addiction to alcoholic beverages, which causes the corresponding depressive disorder.
In case of development of alcoholic psychosis, all assistance is provided in specialized departments of psychiatric and narcological hospitals.
- drug therapy;
- psychotherapeutic techniques;
- physiotherapeutic effect.
In order to completely remove the manifestations of alcoholic depression, the patient should be treated according to the principle of antialcohol treatment.
Step by step:
- Drug detoxification . Withdrawal of alcohol toxins with the help of powerful detoxification solutions and plasma substitutes greatly alleviates depressiveness.
- Calming therapy . Helps to remove the state of anxiety, fears, negative emotions, aggression, craving for alcohol.With these goals, soft but powerful tranquilizers are used, which the narcologist chooses individually.
- Antidepressive measures . The main mental manifestations of depression are affected by antidepressants.When selecting these drugs, it is very important to find the right drug immediately.In this case, the doctor's experience is invaluable.
- General restorative pharmacotherapy . Elimination of problems in the work of the central nervous system, peripheral parts of the nervous system, heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, improves the physical condition of the patient.This leads to normalization of the mental background.Apply - vitamin therapy, nootropic drugs, drugs that establish metabolism in the heart cells, hepatoprotectors( hepatic drugs) and other indications.
- Psychotherapy . The impact on the patient by methods of suggestion, rational methods of persuasion, individual and group psychotherapy is carried out immediately after the withdrawal of severe intoxication.In the psychotherapeutic process must include hypnotherapy.
- Physiotherapy . Electrosleep procedures, sea baths, aromatherapy, acupuncture - harmoniously complement and accelerate the process of avoiding alcoholic depression.
After the removal of severe manifestations of pathology, the patient will very well undergo a rehabilitation course in one of the specialized rehabilitation centers of .The best results are noted in former patients who managed to change their lifestyle.Especially it is a question of leaving from dialogue with a circle of persons connected by memories with alcoholization.A new circle of acquaintances with those who value life, healthy, sportive behavior, travel and hikes - allow you to completely change your life, and get rid of the complex of the past illness.
Alexander Lotin, medical reviewer