What is the best way to find out if I have depression or alcoholism? This question often arises when someone has been diagnosed with one of these conditions, but others think they may have the other. The truth is, there isn’t a definite answer to this question. Before making an assessment, there are many things to consider, and it’s important to note that diagnosing yourself can be dangerous since you don’t know what you’re looking for. The good news is that treatment plans will vary depending on the patient’s needs, so it doesn’t matter which diagnosis you get! So how can I get an assessment for just depression when everyone keeps saying that I am an alcoholic?
The first thing to consider is the difference between major depressive disorder and alcohol abuse or dependence. You may have noticed that these are two separate listings in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Because depression can be caused by several things, including medications, drug use/abuse/dependence, etc., it is important for mental health professionals and physicians to track all possible causes. If you are being diagnosed with depression, but it seems like something else may be at play, there are ways for you to tell your doctor. For example, if you feel as though you drink more when feeling depressed, this might be something that needs further investigation.
Another reason why distinguishing between these two diagnoses can be difficult at times is because of the drinking behaviors associated with alcohol abuse or dependence. For example, drinking to feel better after a bad day is common for someone who has depression, but it may also be a sign of alcoholism. This doesn’t mean that drinking after work every day, along with other drinking habits, are indicators of alcoholism, but you can see how these things may overlap. If this sounds like you, it’s important to bring these concerns to your doctor during your next appointment.
Once you’ve spoken with your doctor, some other questions should be considered before making an assessment between depression and alcoholism. Some of these include:
What are your drinking habits? How often do you drink? What is a typical day like for you when it comes to drinking? Do you have any alcohol-related injuries? Have you ever gone to detox or an inpatient treatment program for alcohol use/abuse/dependence? Does anything trigger the urge to drink more than usual, such as negative feelings or thoughts, stressful events, work, relationships, etc.? Such questions can help your doctor determine if alcohol use is a problem and may also help determine depression.
If you are ready to assess depression and alcoholism, there are some things that your doctor should consider. These include Alcohol withdrawal, Red flags of alcoholism, Alcohol tolerance levels Mental health symptoms. Although everyone has heard the phrase “can’t diagnose yourself,” it happens more often than you may think. To avoid over diagnosing yourself, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor about any concerns before doing so. Not only can your doctor provide a diagnosis, but they will also be able to help treat the conditions that need attention.
Could it be that I’m just depressed and trying to self-medicate with alcohol? If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, then your doctor may want to look into your drinking behaviors. So can I get an assessment for just depression when everyone keeps saying that I am an alcoholic? While you can always find online quizzes to see if you are an alcoholic, this is never a replacement for talking with your doctor. Getting help for substance use disorder is important because it could be dangerous and because it could be a sign of depression. If you seem to be struggling with everything on your own, then Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous may be a good place for you to start.
The last thing to consider is what you would like to do about treatment. If you feel alcohol abuse or dependence might be a better fit for your symptoms, it’s important to talk about this with your doctor. This will give them a better understanding of where you’re coming from when deciding on treatment options. Understandably, many people prefer sticking with one diagnosis instead of dealing with two simultaneously, but sometimes things aren’t that simple. Your feelings should always prioritize when making this decision because it ultimately comes down to what makes you happy.
Are you struggling with major depressive disorder or alcoholism? If you answered yes to two or more of the questions, then there’s a chance that your doctor may want to speak with you about treatment options. If you would like assistance finding professional help for either depression or alcohol use disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 833-364-0736.. We are available to provide you with more information or help connect you with a professional in your area!