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Alcohol Induced Mental Depressive Disorder


The American psychiatric association developed a diagnostic criterion to help them make accurate diagnoses of patients with mental illness based on symptoms presented. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders fifth edition (DSM-5-TR) was developed to help explain the occurrence of symptoms associated with specific mental illnesses. DSM-5-TR is based on the principle of symptoms development and duration of symptoms occurrence when making a diagnosis. Chronic alcoholism has been a great challenge among the American population when it comes to causing long-term effects of mental disorders (McHugh & Weiss, 2019). Reduced neurotransmitter function and poor brain cell nutrition are some of the effects caused by alcohol which leads to mental retardation. Using DSM-5-TR techniques has been employed in trying to make a diagnosis of depressive disorders caused by chronic alcoholism. This article will expand on history-taking and diagnostic procedures used to classify depressive disorders associated with alcoholism.

Firstly, mental disorders often present with distinct symptoms uniquely from other sicknesses. To assess the mentally ill patient, one needs to have a transparent background of the patient’s medical history, psychiatric history, and history of alcohol abuse. Based on alcohol intake and its relation to mental illness, one must evaluate the frequency, amount, duration, and associated consequences (McHugh & Weiss, 2019). Medical practitioners track the patient’s history of presenting illness to evaluate the patient’s mental condition for a given period. In some cases, one need to extend and evaluate the patient’s family history since depressive mental condition are genetically linked, and the presentation of only alcohol-acquired symptoms may not be enough for a complete diagnosis.

Alcohol intake is often associated with the neural reward for pleasure caused by alcohol intake. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter initiated by alcohol intake. Excess alcohol intake is linked to altering dopamine production and function, leading to addiction and subsequent suppression of mental functioning (García-Álvarez et al., 2020). Decreased dopamine would then lead to depressive disorders and depressive symptoms development. According to DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria, one is diagnosed with the mental depressive disorder when developing at least five depression-like symptoms for over two weeks (Castillo-Carniglia et al., 2019).

Alcohol-induced depressive disorder is associated with acquired encephalopathy characterized by reduced dopamine and serotonin functions. Alcohol-induced depression is marked by chronic alcohol intake and often begins in old age. However, major depression develops from genetic predisposition and environmental factors, which later normal brain functions. Major depressive disorder is linked to childhood symptoms and has progressive worsening effects. Alcohol-induced depression and major depressive disorders are differentiated following the ability to reverse alcohol-induced depression upon cessation of alcohol intake. Contrary, major depressive disorders have permanent manifestations and are only relieved by taking anti-depressive drugs (García-Álvarez et al., 2020).

DSM-5-TR help in assessing mentally ill patients logically and systemically, which helps define the primary cause of illness (Gutiérrez-Rojas et al., 2020). For example, among alcoholic patients, DSM-5-TR assesses the duration to which one has taken alcohol and the period of symptoms development. Secondly, by assessing the quantity of alcohol intake, DSM-5-TR criteria help associate the duration of symptom development with alcoholism (Anker & Kushner, 2019). In addition, they are evaluating the frequency of alcohol intake to help highlight the association of alcohol intake to mental depressive disorders. Whenever one has a higher chance of alcoholism predisposition to developing symptoms, they are then classified to have alcohol-induced mental depressive disorders.


Poor neural functioning of the brain often manifests as mental disorders with an array of symptoms. Some have gradual, and others have an acute onset. The alcohol-induced mental depressive disorder has been the leading acquired form of mental illness among the American population. DSM-5-TR evaluation system created by American psychiatrists has proven outstanding excellence when diagnosing mental illness and providing a proper management approach.


Anker, J. J., & Kushner, M. G. (2019). Co-occurring alcohol use disorder and anxiety: bridging psychiatric, psychological, and neurobiological perspectives. Alcohol research: Сurrent reviews40(1).

Castillo-Carniglia, A., Keyes, K. M., Hasin, D. S., & Cerdá, M. (2019). Psychiatric comorbidities in alcohol use disorder. The Lancet Psychiatry6(12), 1068-1080.

García-Álvarez, L., LDla, F. T., & Sáiz, P. A. (2020). Will changes in alcohol and tobacco use be seen during the COVID-19 lockdown? Adicciones32(2), 85-90.

Gutiérrez-Rojas, L., Porras-Segovia, A., Dunne, H., Andrade-González, N., & Cervilla, J. A. (2020). Prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder: A systematic review. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry42, 657-672.

McHugh, R. K., & Weiss, R. D. (2019). Alcohol use disorder and depressive disorders. Alcohol research: Current reviews40(1).


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