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Alcohol and depression

Abstract

To examine the literature on the associations between alcohol use disorders (AUD) and major depression (MD), and to evaluate the evidence for the existence of a causal relationship between the disorders. PsycInfo; PubMed; Embase; Scopus; ISI Web of Science database searches for studies pertaining to AUD and MD from the 1980 to the present. Random-effects models were used to derive estimates of the pooled adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for the links between AUD and MD among studies reporting an AOR. The analysis revealed that the presence of either disorder doubled the risks of the second disorder, with pooled AORs ranging from 2.00 to 2.09. Epidemiological data suggest that the linkages between the disorders cannot be accounted for fully by common factors that influence both AUD and MD, and that the disorders appear to be linked in a causal manner. Further evidence suggests that the most plausible causal association between AUD and MD is one in which AUD increases the risk of MD, rather than vice versa. Potential mechanisms underlying these causal linkages include neurophysiological and metabolic changes resulting from exposure to alcohol. The need for further research examining mechanisms of linkage, gender differences in associations between AUD and MD and classification issues was identified. The current state of the literature suggests a causal linkage between alcohol use disorders and major depression, such that increasing involvement with alcohol increases risk of depression. Further research is needed in order to clarify the nature of this causal link, in order to develop effective intervention and treatment approaches.
Boden JM, Fergusson DM. Alcohol and depression. Addiction. 2011; 106(5):906-14. doi:
10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03351.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03351.x
... What does appear to be clearer, is that when drinking is heavier, mental health benefits are no longer apparent (66,152). Indeed, when looking at clinical populations, mental health disorders and alcohol use disorders commonly co-occur (92,95,153,154) resulting in poorer treatment outcomes (92,153), an escalated risk of self-harm and suicide (92,95,155), and higher rates of overall physical morbidity (95,156) and mortality (95,157). ...
... Chapter 2 (section 2.3.1) discussed social learning theory(158,161) and self-medication theory(154,155), which posit that people use alcohol as a way to manage negative psychological or emotionalstates. An application of these theories might suggest that psychological distress could act as a mechanism in the relationship between negative support and alcohol consumption, by people drinking to cope with the distress caused by negative aspects of relationships.Whilst important, the findings from Chapter 5 were limited by only having data at one stage of the life course (mid-adulthood) in the NCDS, making it difficult to conclude whether these results are applicable to early adults. ...
Thesis
Background Both social support and alcohol consumption are known to influence health outcomes, but the relationship between social support and alcohol consumption is complex and poorly understood. A better understanding of which aspects of social support influence risky drinking could lead to improved public health messaging and interventions that incorporate social, as well as health aspects of alcohol consumption. Methods A mixed methods design was used to explore the relationship between social support and alcohol consumption at different life course stages. Cross-sectional data from the National Child Development Study and the UK Household Longitudinal Study were used in i) multinomial logistic regression models exploring associations between aspects of social support and alcohol consumption and ii) structural equation models testing the direct and indirect (via psychological distress) effects of quality of support on alcohol consumption. A thematic analysis of qualitative one-to-one interviews undertaken with 12 adults accessing alcohol treatment services was conducted. Results Key areas of social support associated with risky drinking were identified: conflict and negative support; isolation and loneliness; supportive and unsupportive friendships. Depending upon the quality of support, relationships with partners could be protective of, or associated with, risky drinking. There were no clear differences according to life course stage; however, psychological distress mediated the relationship between quality of support and drinking frequency amongst early adults and drinking volume amongst mid-adults. Conclusions Negative aspects of support, such as conflict, isolation and loneliness, were associated with risky drinking; however, so were positive aspects, such as emotional support from friends. Mixed methods enabled the representation of heavy drinker experiences missed from population-level surveys. Measures of drinking risk should consider life course stage. Interventions to address risky drinking should consider drinking motivations linked to social support to identify and address coping motives, and support the maintenance of positive relationships.
... Along with the increase of depression, anxiety, or feelings of loneliness, also the risk of development of an addictive disease rises (Swendsen and Merikangas, 2000;Boden and Fergusson, 2011;Charles et al., 2021). Especially in times of crisis, psychoactive substances could be misused as a means to escape from a stressful reality. ...
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Background: It is becoming increasingly apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic not only poses risks to physical health, but that it also might lead to a global mental health crisis, making the exploration of protective factors for mental well-being highly relevant. The present study seeks to investigate religious/spiritual well-being (RSWB) as a potential protective factor with regard to psychiatric symptom burden and addictive behavior. Materials and Methods: The data was collected by conducting an online survey in the interim period between two national lockdowns with young adults (N = 306; age: 18–35) in Austria. The primary study variables were assessed through the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI-18; psychiatric symptom load), the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST; addictive behavior/addiction risk) and the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being short version (MI-RSWB 12), with its sub-dimensions Hope (HO), Forgiveness (FO), General Religiosity (GR), and Connectedness (CO). Results: We observed HO and FO as substantial negative predictors of psychiatric symptom burden. With regard to addictive behavior, HO in particular but also GR seem to have a protective function. Furthermore, we found positive connections between CO, psychiatric symptom burden, and addictive behavior. Conclusion: In line with our assumptions, HO, FO and to a minor extent GR were confirmed as negative predictors regarding psychiatric symptom burden or addictive behavior in young adults, coping with the psychological threat of COVID-19 pandemic. These dimensions might be further considered as potential resources in clinical treatment. However, the positive prediction of mental illness parameters by increased feelings of CO could also be interpreted as an expression of exhaustion and alienation from the real world.
... 96 Substance use is associated with mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. [97][98][99][100][101] Additionally, substance use has been reported to be associated with increased likelihood of suicide attempts. [102][103][104] A review on the topic of suicide and suicide risk by Turecki and colleagues notes that substance abuse is frequently found in a large proportion of individuals who die by suicide, with alcohol misuse being involved in up to 40 percent of the cases and illicit substance use in 25 percent of the cases. ...
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Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and the rates of suicides have been steadily increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic brings a number of potential stressors that may lead to a further increase in the suicide rate. This review paper analyzes the suicide rates of previous similar historic events, including pandemic/epidemic, mass violence events, natural disasters, and economic recessions. The impact of current stressors caused by the pandemic are examined, including economic, quarantine and isolation, media exposure and misinformation, substance use, and mental health. Evidence-based suicide prevention strategies are reviewed.
... It has been reported that depression and alcoholism have strong reciprocal relationships and frequently co-occur (Sullivan et al., 2005). There are also reports that alcohol consumption may have a causal effect on the development of major depression (Flensborg-Madsen et al., 2009;Boden and Fergusson, 2011). While there is a lack of data on the specific effect of alcohol consumption on the association between menopausal stages and depression, there is a plethora of evidence suggesting that drinking is strongly associated with suicidal ideation (Norstrom and Rossow, 2016), and the association is stronger in women than in men (Yi et al., 2016). ...
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