The use of alcohol and depression symptoms often are linked since depression can lead to excessive alcohol use or excessive alcohol use can lead to depression. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant which means that it effects the brain and spinal cord where the neurological system resides. Alcohol use causes the central nervous system to slow down which can initially cause feelings of contentment or relaxation. If a person is depressed, they may feel like they are able to escape the feelings of overwhelming sadness once they have consumed alcohol.
Though users may feel like the depression is lifting when they consume alcohol, but in reality, it is only masking the negative symptoms of the mental condition. Long term alcohol use causes tolerance, meaning that the sufferer will have to drink more and more to feel the same effects every day. When this happens, the alcohol can cause physical damage. Mentally, alcohol can not only cause depression, but can also cause mental retardation, loss of memory and a host of other health problems.
When someone who is suffering depression turns to alcohol for solace, they are basically avoiding having to deal with the issue at hand. If a user continues to drink and becomes dependent on alcohol, then these issues will not be dealt with if or until they stop using alcohol and are forced to face the true face of depression. Oftentimes, this doesn't occur until many years after the fact.
During that time, more and more issues are added to the original problem. Unfortunately, many people who have used alcohol to deal with depression will have to deal with decades worth of sadness and trauma, both that was caused by things beyond their control and that that was caused by things they did while drinking. Obviously, it is better to seek help for issues of depression early than to ignore them and drown them with alcohol which only makes problems worse in the long run. There are many professional healthcare workers who are trained to help those who suffering from both alcohol and depression issues.