Alcohol consumption is acceptable in most cultures and societies. Individuals have been drinking varying alcohol amounts for centuries. But, drinking excessively can affect human mental health. The consequences can be short-term or long-term.
How Alcohol Impacts a Person’s Mental Health
Every individual has varying reasons to consume alcohol. However, drinking excessively and the resulting effects are related to a person’s mental health. Different issues affecting the health of a person mentally are the reason for drinking in some cases. However, excessive alcohol drinking might also contribute to problems of mental health.
In simple terms, moods or the mental state of a person is a major reason why they drink. Essentially, some individuals drink to alter their mood. But, some people have argued against this notion when attending online AA meetings (AddictionResource provides details).
Alcohol may alleviate depression and some signs of anxiety. This explains the tendency of some people to self-medicate for mental health issues with alcohol. They want to sleep faster and better or just to cheer themselves. However, alcohol provides temporary relief.
Thus, though some people consider drinking a means of self-medicating when addressing difficult issues relating to their mental health or feelings, the positive effects are generally short-lived. As such, individuals with issues that affect mental health become addicted to ease. That’s because they become reliant on alcohol whenever they want to address mental illnesses.
Research has shown that drinking caused by varied reasons. However, people with the serious mental disease tend to endure more problems with drinking. This shouldn’t be translated to mean that the main cause of most mental disorders is alcohol. Evidence has revealed that persons that consume large alcohol quantities have increased vulnerability for the issues of mental health. What’s more, drinking might cause issues of mental health like depression in some individuals.
How Alcohol Impacts Moods
A person’s inhibition is lowered by drinking. Alcoholism excessively typically means an individual has minimal personal constraints. What’s more, a person’s body resting ability is disrupted by alcohol. This can compel the body to spend more time and energy when it comes to processing alcohol in its system.
Some people attending online AA meetings USA forums say that they drink alcohol to sleep faster. However, alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns. This can reduce the energy levels of a person and interfere with their normal performance during the day.
Alcohol can also depress a person’s central nervous system. Consequently, the mood of a person can fluctuate when they consume alcohol. Alcohol can also numb the emotions of a person. That way, a person avoids difficult situations of issues in their life.
For some people, alcohol intensifies or reveals their underlying feelings. For instance, alcohol can evoke traumatic memories or spark repressed feelings that are associated with some painful and unpleasant events. Individuals attending the meetings of AA support groups online say that sometimes these memories are very powerful to create overwhelming feelings of shame, depression, and anxiety.
A person’s safety and that of those around them can be threatened when they re-live their unpleasant feelings, as well as, memories under the influence.
How Alcohol Impacts the Brain
A common problem that experts have linked with regular drinking to self-medicate for problems that affect mental health is that habitual alcohol consumption might alter natural brain chemistry. For the brain to function properly, it relies on the delicate balance that exists between processes and various chemicals. Research has shown that alcohol is generally a depressant. As such, it can interfere with this balance. Consequently, it can affect how the consumer feels, thinks, and acts. In some cases, it may affect a person’s mental health on a long-term basis.
Partially, the impacts of alcohol go down to neurotransmitters. The responsibility of these elements is to transmit impulse from a neuron or one nerve to another within the brain. For instance, some individuals feel relaxed when they drink alcohol because it causes brain chemical changes.
Some individuals feel less anxious and are more confident after drinking because alcohol suppresses the brain part that is associated with normal inhibitions. The impact of alcohol on the normal functioning of the brain increases as a person drinks more.
Regardless of a person’s mood, drinking increasingly can lead to the takeover of negative emotions. This can lead to a negative impact on their mental health. Experts have linked alcohol drinking to aggression. Some of the individuals that participate in the activities of the 24 hour AA chat rooms online say that they get anxious, depressed, aggressive, and angry whenever they consume alcohol.
Alcohol decreases serotonin levels in your brain. This is an important chemical when it comes to depression. Once this chemical has been depleted, the periodic process starts. Essentially, a person drinks alcohol for depression relief. This leads to further depletion of serotonin levels in their brain. Consequently, a person feels more depressed. Therefore, they experience the urge to drink increased alcohol amounts to self-medicate for depression. Unfortunately, this continues, and then alcohol addiction sets in. Eventually, a person becomes alcohol dependent and they can no longer survive without it.
How to Get Help
Once a person gets hooked to drinking for purposes of self-medicating for varied mental health difficulties, they need professional assistance. Alcohol addiction is basically a mental health problem. It’s a disease like depression that needs treatment. Until a person undergoes alcoholism treatment, they can’t recover from other mental health problems.
It’s only by seeking treatment that a person can determine whether a mental health problem is the cause of their drinking or excessive alcohol consumption led to their mental health problems. Luckily, several facilities provide a dual diagnosis. This is where co-occurring mental health problems are diagnosed and treated simultaneously.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health problem that you suspect has been caused by excessive alcohol consumption, you don’t have to give up. Simply seek help from a reputable rehab center. You can settle for an inpatient or outpatient facility depending on your unique needs and lifestyle.
The best facilities provide dual diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare services. Aftercare services can include support groups like AA meetings. As such, you can undergo treatment and enjoy the benefits of AA meetings to recover fully from alcoholism and other mental health problems.