Personality Disorders Community

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Depression and BPD?

Bookmark and Share

QUESTION:

I would like to ask you about the effect(s), if any, of alcohol (even in moderate/small amounts) on people that have BPD and depression. In particular, this individual is taking Effexor. I can't find much information on this particular issue. Thank you.

DR. HELLER'S ANSWER:

Alcohol is a depressant and can make depression worse - especially increasing the risk of suicide.

Alcohol is a problem for the BPD in three ways:

1) It seems to neutralize the effects of Prozac, so the unprovoked mood swings and chronic anger come back.

2) It reduces frontal lobe control of behavior, so increased anger combined with reduced behavior control can result in disaster.

3) Since dysphoria (anxiety, rage, depression and despair) is an epileptic phenomenon, an alcohol withdrawal dysphoria seizure can occur 6-72 hours after the alcohol was consumed. The individual with BPD doesn't relate the two glasses of wine on Friday night with the rage or depression on Sunday, but they are strongly related.

As far as I know there's no additional risk to the individual taking Effexor when combined with alcohol.

advertisement

next: Does Combining Paxil With Alcohol Damage The Brain? ~ back to: Borderline Personality Disorder FAQs Table of Contents