'Real Housewives' star says she feels depressed after drinking alcohol — should you be concerned too?

Korin Miller
“Real Housewives of Dallas” star Stephanie Hollman (center) appears on a recent episode of ‘Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.” (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank)
“Real Housewives of Dallas” star Stephanie Hollman (center) appears on a recent episode of ‘Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.” (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank)

Real Housewives of Dallas star Stephanie Hollman has been candid on the show about struggling with depression. Now, she’s revealing that alcohol in particular seems to affect her condition.

In a new interview, Hollman tells Us Weekly that she’s “struggled with depression” her whole life. She says that’s “changed” her relationship with alcohol. “On the show, I usually drink two or three glasses, but I kind of know my limits. And I will have fun, but the next day I will be depressed for no reason, for a good three days,” she told Us Weekly. “I don’t know why. I know alcohol is an antidepressant, but I feel like it hits me different than other people. But I recognize it and I also very are of how much I drink, and when I drink. If I’m in dark place, I never drink.”

Hollman also said she’s somewhat “scared” of alcohol. “I’m very aware … like, sometimes I’ll let loose and have fun, but I do it maybe once every six weeks even.” Despite what Hollman said, “Alcohol is a depressant — not an antidepressant,” licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

“When you first have a drink, your mood lifts a little, but the ultimate effect of the alcohol is that it depresses your central nervous system,” Mayra Mendez, a licensed psychotherapist at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “When the mood-lifting effect wears away, you’re on a down.”

For people with a condition such as depression, the effects can be even more exaggerated and drawn out, Mendez says, adding that “high-frequency alcohol use can make it even worse.”

That doesn’t mean that people who suffer from depression can never drink alcohol — it’s just best for them to limit what they drink and how often, she says. “If they just have a drink socially once a week, it’s not going to have a serious impact,” Mendez says. “But if they’re having a glass of wine every single day because they’ want to lift their mood, that’s a huge problem.” Of course, whether a person is on medication for depression and which ones also matters: Certain medications are fine to drink infrequently with, while others aren’t, Mendez says.

If you find that you feel a little off the morning after drinking but your mood lifts after a few hours, that’s pretty normal (albeit annoying). But if you’re still having that side effect all day or it stretches on for longer than that, it may be best to curb your alcohol use and meet with a mental health professional. “Generally speaking, when the effect lasts that long, I would suspect that there is already a level of depression or mood disregulation that makes you more sensitive to alcohol,” Mendez says.

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