According to a group of Western Australian scientists, alcohol consumption does not lead to depression as previously assumed.
The scientists discovered that there was no truth to theory that alcohol causes people to become depressed.
The discovery was made following a study of 3873 elderly men conducted over a period of 3 years as part of a long running men’s health study and the findings have been eye-opening especially in debunking some old myths such as the myth that drinking alcohol causes depression.
This post from www.perthnow.com.au explains:
A study of 3873 elderly men has shown no truth to the long-held belief alcohol causes people to become depressed, University of Western Australia school of psychiatry and clinical neurosciences professor Osvaldo Almeida said.
The study was conducted over three years as part of the long-running Health in Men Study.
“We found (as expected) that this particular genetic variant was associated with reduced alcohol use, but it had no association with depression whatsoever,” he said.
The researchers came to the conclusion that alcohol doesn’t cause depression in older men. There are often people who suffer from alcoholism and the effects of these addictions may lead them to become depressed but alcohol in itself doesn’t cause depression, as we previously thought.
Even though this study shows that alcohol consumption does not directly lead to depression in drinkers, we should not take this as an opportunity to binge drink. Any excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening consequences which is why alcohol should always be consumed in moderation and responsibly.
Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol can positively affect your physical and mental state. Even though alcohol is widely abused, which often overshadows the good it can do, there are some benefits to drinking alcohol in moderate amounts. And now that we know that alcohol doesn’t cause depression, people abusing it does, we can recognise the importance of promoting moderate consumption, particularly if we work in the hospitality industry.
Workers who serve and sell alcohol have a responsibility to ensure that they are not serving alcohol to unduly intoxicated patrons which only promotes excessive drinking and negative consequences such as alcoholism and depression.
The post goes on to explain:
“The conclusion is that alcohol use neither causes nor prevents depression in older men. Our results also debunk the view that mild to moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of depression.”
Prof Almeida said the association observed between alcohol and depression could be explained by other factors, but not by alcohol itself.
“It doesn’t mean alcohol is entirely safe and people can consume it in whatever way they like. We know that alcohol when consumed in excess does create a lot of health problems – but what we now know is that one of those problems is not depression.”