What is Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder?

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Alcohol is often a regular part of social interactions, but there are implications to prolonged alcohol use. Alcohol-induced mood disorder (AIMD) can occur from extensive alcohol use and is characterized by noticeable fluctuations in an individual’s mood and correlates with alcohol use or withdrawal. To understand AIMD, you must explore the depths of it — unraveling its definition, causes, and symptoms, ultimately determining what treatments will work best to help you overcome AIMD.

Alcohol-induced mood disorder (AIMD) can occur from extensive alcohol use and is characterized by noticeable fluctuations in an individual's mood and correlates with alcohol use or withdrawal.

What is Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder?

Alcohol-induced mood disorder (AIMD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by mood disturbances that arise during or shortly after alcohol intoxication or during the withdrawal period. The disorder has significant repercussions that hinder daily functioning and can cause distress and difficulty in social settings.

Distinguishing AIMD from Other Mood Disorders

AIMD has characteristics that distinguish it from other mood disorders – primarily due to the direct relation to alcohol use. Usually, the symptoms of AIMD will dissipate once alcohol consumption halts; the cycle often repeats with subsequent use. This highlights the need for careful and guided intervention.

What Causes Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder?

A general understanding of the source of AIMD can lay the foundation for treatment – some reasons why someone may suffer from AIMD include:

  • Neurochemical Imbalance: Prolonged use of alcohol alters the brain’s neurochemistry. It interferes with neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are vital in maintaining mood stability.
  • Withdrawal Phenomenon: During withdrawal, individuals might experience a sudden dip in dopamine levels, which can pave the way for symptoms such as depression and anxiety, which can trigger AIMD.
  • Genetic and Environmental Factors: A genetic predisposition and certain environmental factors can increase an individual’s vulnerability to developing AIMD. The interaction of genetic makeup with persistent alcohol abuse supports the onset of this disorder.

Read more: What Are The Social Effects Of Alcohol?

The key to early intervention with AIMD is recognizing the symptoms.

The Symptoms of Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder

The key to early intervention with AIMD is recognizing the symptoms. Like with other disorders and alcohol addiction, the symptoms of AIMD may not be immediately noticeable. Identifying the signs early can help prevent further health complications and can help ease the impact on mental health. Symptoms of AIMD can include:

  • Variable Moods: Individuals with AIMD often experience significant mood swings that frequently change between euphoria and despair. These mood changes are largely contingent on their alcohol use patterns.
  • Anxiety and Irritability: Increased levels of anxiety and irritability are frequently observed in individuals experiencing AIMD, often adversely impacting personal relationships and daily functions.
  • Depression: Signs of depression, including a sustained feeling of sadness and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, are characteristics of AIMD, especially during the withdrawal phase.
  • Cognitive Impairments: AIMD often comes with cognitive impairments, including difficulty focusing and making decisions, which can hinder personal and professional growth.

What Treatments Are Available for Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder?

A multi-pronged approach to treatment is often warranted for those with AIMD. With various underlying causes, exploring treatment options with a trained professional is important to determine the most beneficial for your success in a rehabilitation program.

Due to the complex nature of AIMD and the mental health aspects of it, treating more than just the alcohol component becomes necessary for most individuals seeking treatment. Changing habits and coping with stressful situations or other triggers is a key component for long-term sobriety.

Some of the treatments that may be beneficial for someone who suffers from AIMD or alcohol addiction include:

  • Detoxification: For most, the first step in treating AIMD is detoxification. Individuals are medically supervised to safely navigate withdrawal symptoms, which helps in preventing complications.
  • Medication Management: After detoxing, a regimen of medications may be prescribed to manage mood symptoms and foster a smoother recovery.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, which encompasses modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be beneficial. These therapies help individuals develop coping strategies to manage their mood symptoms effectively.
  • Support Groups: Engaging in support groups offers a nurturing environment for individuals to share experiences and gain insight from others who have walked similar paths, fostering a sense of community and shared healing.

Read more: Is Alcohol Considered A Drug: Effects & Addiction Rates

Due to the complex nature of AIMD and the mental health aspects of it, treating more than just the alcohol component becomes necessary for most individuals seeking treatment.

Launch Centers Can Help with Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder

In the recovery journey, finding programs tailored to assist individuals struggling with AIMD is crucial. At Launch Centers, our approach to treatment is highly individualized, focusing on addressing the unique needs of each individual to support genuine and sustainable recovery.

Our team of skilled therapists is proficient in administering therapies and stands ready to aid anyone looking to overcome the challenges of AIMD. We provide a nurturing and supportive environment, emphasizing holistic healing that goes beyond symptom management to focus on skill development and personal growth.

Call us today if you or someone you love is struggling with AIMD. Our programs for alcohol rehabilitation can help you begin the path to sobriety – and you won’t have to do it alone. We provide support during the therapeutic process and can help you choose the right course of treatment for your AIMD or alcohol addiction. Launch Centers is here to help you on the road to recovery.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

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    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

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  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

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