Alcohol and mental health
Alcohol is a vital part of many societies across the globe. It is part of some cultures and the history goes back hundreds of years. However, alcohol is linked to some mental health issues, primarily depression and anxiety, especially when it is consumed in larger amounts.
How is mental health affected by alcohol?
It is a known fact Anxiety and depression cause a person to drink more alcohol but also drinking more causes anxiety and depression. Mental health issues are related to alcohol in both ways and this is a vicious cycle with no end.
A major part of population drains to change the mood or our mental state so to speak. People use it as a source of self-meditation as it temporarily gets rid of the feeling of anxiety and depression. But drinking to deal with mental health actually worsens it over time and without alcohol, it becomes difficult for a person to survive.
How our mood is affected by alcohol?
As a person drinks more and more, his emotional constraint decreases, so his behaviour becomes uninhibited. It also decreases the body’s ability to think clearly as well as disturbs sleep. This leads to low energy levels and clouded thinking that worsens depression as well as anxiety.
Alcohol is also known to increase or amplify your emotions so a person with mental health issues can have a multifold increase in his problems if he is an avid drinker too.
Alcohol and depression
A regular drinker is more prone to depression than an occasional one. This is because of simple brain chemistry actually. Increased alcohol drinking decreases the release of serotonin, the happy hormone of the brain, leading to depression. Not only can this, but drinking also exacerbates symptoms of depression. For example, your disturbed sleep can worsen and thought the process can deteriorate even further. Alcohol drinking can affect relationships and work which also contributes to depression.
Some of the warning signs of excessive alcohol drinking are:
- Low energy
- Low mood
- Poor quality of sleep
- Anxiety in normal situations
If you think you are suffering from the aforementioned conditions, always start by cutting down your drinking habits first. Moreover, seek help whenever possible.
Alcohol and anxiety
Drinking a glass of alcoholic beverage may help you relax momentarily but in the long term, it will just contribute towards anxiety and make it difficult to deal with stress. This is due to the fact that regular alcohol drinking causes disruption of certain neurotransmitters in our brains that are needed for proper functionality and adequate mental health.
Under the alcoholic influence, a person has a narrow perceiving ability. He might be triggered by a non-stressful event because he might not be able to comprehend all the cues due to clouded judgment. This only adds up to anxiety, especially when you are prone to it.