Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorders

Both in real and reel life, some characters’ drink till their speech is not legible, have poor judgment, or act crazy. There have been instances where the person is hyper−aroused and feel all emotions intently. With that in mind, we can conjure a picture of a person who is just shouting relentlessly for no reason or goes quiet altogether, ending up in a depressed state.

Alcohol and Mental Health

Many people use alcohol as self−medication for uncomfortable symptoms. However, few are aware that doing so while experiencing the symptoms of a mental health illness increases the risk of alcohol misuse or dependency. When people experience these issues, they simultaneously deal with two different mental health issues, called co−occurring illnesses.

What is a Mood Disorder?

Mood disorders affect how we feel and think. For a mood disorder to be caused by external stimuli, there must be evidence from the narrative, physical examination, or laboratory data demonstrating the disruption is the particular physiological manifestation of a general medical condition. Medications, narcotics, and alcohol can all contribute to mood disorders.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorders

Drug or medication−induced mental disorders are among the problems caused by substances. Depressive, anxious, psychotic, or manic symptoms that develop as a physiological result of abusing drugs or pharmaceuticals are referred to as substance/medication-induced mental disorders. It could happen while using, becoming drunk, or going through withdrawal. Even though illegal drugs and iatrogenic pharmaceuticals are taken to improve mood, a sizeable percentage of patients have paradoxical affective problems because of those prescriptions. Some people have manic or depressive episodes instead of the banal bliss that comes with drinking or the "hangover" the next day. Substance-induced mood disorders are those that only manifest in conjunction with substance use. Bipolar disorder and its associated illnesses and depressive disorders are examples of affective disorders that can develop in the context of substance use. Previously, these diseases may have been found in the nosological category of DSM IV's umbrella of substance−induced mood disorders. However, "substance−induced" is now a qualifier for mood disorders in the most recent DSM.

The use of drugs and mood disorders frequently coexist. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "Many people who are drug addicts also have other mental problems diagnosed, and vice versa." For instance, drug addicts are nearly twice as likely to experience mood and anxiety disorders compared to the general population, and the opposite is also true.

Major Depression and Alcohol Use Disorders

Two of the most common mental health conditions in the general population are major depression (MD) and alcohol use disorders (AUD), representing a significant global health burden. Medical disorders and alcohol use disorders (AUD) frequently co−occur, in accordance with clinical and epidemiological studies. According to a systematic evaluation of longitudinal or cross−sectional epidemiological research, an AUD is twice as likely to develop in individuals with MD and vice versa. This means that patients with one illness are twice as likely to develop the other. The diagnosis and treatment of AUD and depressive disorders, which frequently co−occur, present numerous difficulties. Alcoholism can be difficult to diagnose because, like other substances with addictive potential, the acute and long-term consequences of alcohol intake and withdrawal may mirror depressive symptoms. In this regard, MD associated with any SUD has long been acknowledged by the DSM and ICD classifications (DSM−IV, IV−TR, and DSM−5; ICD−10, ICD−11).

It is important to characterize AI−MD because it is a widespread and clinically significant disorder that must be diagnosed and treated appropriately properly. The clinical and molecular characteristics identified in this study may aid medical professionals in distinguishing AI−MD from the main MD and understanding their etiopathology and therapeutic strategy. Clinical variations were mostly seen in comorbidities, lifetime traumatic stresses, family history of disorders, and criteria for diagnosing depression. Nevertheless, non-genetic variations were discovered.

In contrast to MD patients, AI−MD patients displayed higher levels of alcohol consumption and a family background of other substance use disorders. It is interesting to note that AI−MD patients displayed higher lifetime stressor events, including physical abuse, abuse as a child, violence against intimate partners, etc. These results align with past animal and human research that has linked traumatic experiences to SUDs. Additionally, as predicted, AI−MD revealed higher medical comorbidity, perhaps as a result of the toxicity of alcohol and its consequences on health. Finally, there were few significant variations between groups regarding personality traits and dimensions.

We discovered further variations in the DSM IV−TR's criteria for diagnosing MD. Only four of nine criteria used to identify depression showed changes, according to our research. Patients with AI−MD more frequently met the criterion for weight changes.

Alcohol−induced depressive disorder is a depression−like condition that only manifests during and immediately after excessive alcohol consumption or withdrawal, subsides around 3 to 4 weeks of alcohol sobriety, and is marked by severe distress and impairment.


It is implied by the diagnosis of substance−induced mood disorder that the disorder should go away on its own once the aggravating factor has subsided. However, medication may be required depending on how severe a substance-induced emotional episode is. The clinician's choice of whether to manage the active affective disorder or provide supportive care while monitoring the patient in a safe facility during withdrawal will be aided by clinical judgment, supported by a serious history and collateral information. Some studies advise the empiric use of antidepressants in the presence of depressive symptomatology and concurrent substance use due to the relative safety of most antidepressants. Second−generation antipsychotics, including quetiapine or olanzapine, are advised by guidelines because they act more quickly than mood stabilizers during manic episodes.

The focus on the cessation of the triggering substance should be the most important aspect of treatment. Depending on the patient's preferred substance, the treatment method will change. The most reliable prognostic indicator for subsequent episodes is continued abstinence. Therefore, elements that support sobriety will invariably amplify remission. Support from the family, psychotherapy, financial security, and adherence to medicine are all elements that help people stay sober. Similarly, environments where substance use is more likely, are linked to worse outcomes.


Alcohol and drugs seem to offer a respite from the difficulties and stress of everyday living. This promise sounds even more alluring if you battle co−occurring mood problems. Unfortunately, the reality is that alcohol and drug abuse create more issues than they help to resolve. They make existing mental health problems worse. They support depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. Suicide is the biggest issue surrounding substance−induced mood disorders, and studies show that substance−induced emotional problems are more frequently associated with suicide attempts.