According to new research, drinking alcoholic beverages doesn’t actually make you depressed, contrary to long-held assumptions.
Clinical neuroscientists from University of Western Australia have apparently determined that drinking alcohol, especially in excess, doesn’t make you more depressed.
For the study, they looked at a genetic variant that makes some unable to hold their liquor in 3,873 elderly male subjects. They found no association between alcohol consumption and depression whatsoever. However, the study also debunks another common assumption: That mild alcohol consumption actually reduces the risk of developing depression.
But that actually makes sense, because if alcohol has no effect on your mood… well, it wouldn’t have an effect on your mood.
“Even one of the diagnoses we have for depressive disorders – Substance Induced Mood Disorder – is a diagnosis where alcohol plays a role,” Professor Osvaldo Almeida said. “However, because of the observational nature of the association between alcohol and depression, and the risk of confounding and bias that comes with observational studies, it is difficult to be entirely certain that the relationship is causal.”
“For example, people who drink too much may also smoke, have poor diets and other diseases that could explain the excess number of people with depression among heavy drinkers.”
Still, don’t go binge drinking to celebrate this news.
“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.”
You can read a very stuffy, academic paper on this study here.
Do you think that alcohol consumption causes depression?