Our expert says:
Well, the cheapest and best medicine in the first place, would be for him to stop drinking alcohol which is a CAUSE and worsener of depression. If he has been drinking large amounts of alcohol for some time, though, suddenly stopping it could be a problem without proper expert supervision. So the most urgent thing would be to persuade him that Depression responds well to treatment and that he ought to see a psychiatrist as soon as it can be arranged, for a full assessment, being completely honest and open with the shrink, and then follow the shrink's advice. There are many medicines, and also CBT counselling, which can help depression of all sorts, but choosing the right medicine depends on the results of a proper assessment.
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