Am I an Alcoholic or Am I Depressed?
anonymous Asks ...
I feel really flat and unhappy. I have been drinking too much for a long time because this is the only thing that at least makes me feel something. My parents want to send me to rehab. Oh I am 27 and still live at home. No job. I think that alcohol is a problem for me because I am so habituated to needing it to fall asleep each night and pass the time all evening but I do not think it is the main problem and that is that I just am feeling very flat and unhappy. I told my parents this but they just think I am trying to get out of going to rehab and that is not totally true, but maybe it is coloring my judgment a little…who knows. Based on what I have told you do you think I should go to rehab?
Anna Deeds Says ...
Thank you for your question. Your description of feeling flat and unhappy sound like depression. However, there are other symptoms of depression and I could not possibly diagnose someone through a question. I would need a lot more information to make an accurate assessment. In addition, frequent use of alcohol makes it difficult to diagnose depression. Alcohol can actually cause depression and the symptoms sometimes end when the person stops drinking. Your question does not make it clear whether you felt this way prior to the drinking or not. The only way to properly treat your issues and find the happiness in life that you are clearly longing for, would be to remove the alcohol from the equation. Your parents are obviously concerned enough about your drinking to suggest rehab. We often cannot see our own problems as clearly as an outside person can. And I am assuming that you cannot quit drinking on your own or else you wouldn't be considering rehab as an option. I think it would be a good idea to give rehab a try. What do you have to lose? You are already very unhappy with your life and rehab could possibly change all that. I would suggest looking for a dual diagnosis rehab which could assess you for depression. If you really are depressed, they could treat both the depression and the alcohol problem.
If you go to rehab, you can learn how you really feel without the alcohol. If you still feel "flat and unhappy," I suggest you be assessed for depression. Then, you can continue treatment for the depression. Depression is a very treatable disorder. However, many people believe they have no control over the way they feel. Or they don't want to take depression medication. Or they have tried depression medication in the past and it hasn't helped them. Medication can help once you discover the right medication for you. This may mean trying different medications until you find the right one. However, medication is only one part of the equation. I recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy whether you choose to take medication or not. Contrary to popular belief, we do have control over our feelings. Changing thoughts and behaviors can help a person change how they feel.
I hope this answers your question and I hope you will both give rehab a try and be assessed and if needed treated for depression. Good luck and I hope you find the happiness you are looking for and clearly deserve.