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Depression And Alcohol And Other Drugs

From the National Institute Of Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Some people with depression turn to alcohol or other drugs to escape the depression. Other times using alcohol or drugs can contribute to a person's depression.

According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, young people ages 12 to 17 who are depressed are twice as likely as those who aren't depressed to take their first drink or use drugs for the first time.

Among young women, the rate of depression is triple that for young men.

Learn to recognize the signs of a drinking problem in a friend — or yourself:

  • Getting drunk on a regular basis
  • Lying about how much alcohol he or she is using, or hiding alcohol
  • Having frequent hangovers
  • Feeling run-down, depressed or even suicidal
  • having blackouts - forgetting what he or she did while drinking
  • Having problems at shcool or getting in trouble with the law
  • Giving up activities he or she used to do, suc has sports, homework or friends who don't drink.

Depression is real and painful. Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. Depression is not something that you have "made up in your head." It's more than just feeling "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. It's feeling "down" and "low" and "hopeless" for weeks at a time. Depression can make it very hard for you to care for yourself, your family, your school work and friends. But, there is hope. Depression can be treated and you can feel better.

Last updated September 18, 2007




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