Since my dad died, my mom has been drinking. Could she be depressed?

My mother has been drinking since my dad died. Is she suffering from depression?

One risk of untreated depression is the development of co-morbid substance abuse, including alcohol abuse. Alcohol and drugs make people feel better temporarily, but this effect is only temporary; as the high wears off, despair can set in. After the death of a spouse or other close family member, if excessive drinking develops, it is reasonable to presume that a depression is present. Alcohol abuse can often be missed in older women, particularly if it involves only consumption of wine or beer. Alcohol abuse can cause depression itself – in such circumstances, recovery from the substance abuse usually leads to resolution of the depression. Often-times, depression precipitates the abuse of alcohol and/or drugs and thus will need treatment to promote recovery from the substance abuse.