Tough Talk on Tippling

Some people will be pissed off at what I’m about to say, but I firmly believe it, so here goes: if you are prone to major depression, and you choose to drink alcohol, you are behaving stupidly.

If I were to state the above so baldly during a group therapy session (remember, I’d be there as a participant, not a leader) I predict there would be a mixed response.

“The only way I can cope with my depression is to drink.”

“I only drink a small amount, so it doesn’t impact my depression.”

“Alcohol abuse is a completely different problem to depression.”

“That may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.”

Bullshit.

The link between alcohol use/abuse and depression is well established, with recent studies show that alcohol abuse is a risk factor for major depression, while other research points out the need to consider a patient’s use of alcohol in deciding upon their treatment.

So far as I’m concerned, there are no two ways about it: to minimize the impact of depression on your life, you need to eliminate alcohol.

The personal touch? I used to drink, and drink heavily. I stopped drinking primarily to improve my mental health. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. And yes, I’m Australian – consuming alcohol is practically a national pastime! Sometimes it’s a bit weird, being the only one toasting the bride with sparkling water and turning up to BBQs with exotic fruit/veg juices … especially since, four years ago, I’d be leading the race to the wine table. However, those days are behind me, and I hold no regrets.

OK, start hurling your abuse … I’m ready for it! Just don’t hurl bottles. And don’t do it chugging a beer.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Tough Talk on Tippling

  1. I’ve never been good at drinking, but I do love an occasional small glass of my favorite wine. Everyone teases me by telling me that all I have to do is smell the alcohol and I’m tipsy..not entirely untrue. =) Good for you making positive changes in your life–not always so easy, in fact, never very easy.

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  2. I’m bipolar 1 and I’ve befriended a few codiagnosees over the years.
    Not all of them have made it through so far.

    All of those who killed themselves were fairly heavy drinkers.

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    • Phew …. that’s hard.
      Thank you for sharing.
      If you don’t mind me interpreting what you’ve written, you seem to make a link between their alcohol consumption and suicide. Is this what you meant? (I try not to tell people what they’ve said – tends to annoy them if I get it wrong!)
      If so, then that’s another piece of anecdotal evidence to add to my stockpile.

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      • you seem to make a link between their alcohol consumption and suicide

        Yep. Through the prism of my limited anecdotal dataset there seems to be a correlation.

        Of course it could be that those who are already more suicidal are more likely to drink heavily in the first place. But I suspect not.

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      • I love agreement 🙂 Thanks again for sharing.

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  3. Pingback: BS | In & Out, Up & Down: The Lighter Side of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Wards

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