Alcohol and Mental Health
Mental health issues not only arise from drinking too much alcohol. They can also compel individuals to drink too much.
There is some evidence associating light drinking with improved health in some adults. Between 1 and 3 drinks on a daily basis have been found to help defend us from heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a small glass of red wine daily may diminish risk of stroke in women.
That being said there is much more evidence showing that drinking too much alcohol brings about serious http://www.dealingwithalcoholics.com/alcoholic-behavior/ physical and mental illnesses.
Stated very simply, a major reason for drinking alcohol is to change our mood - or change our mental state. Alcohol can temporarily alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression; it can also help to temporarily relieve the symptoms of more serious mental health issues.
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Alcohol conditions are more common among people with more severe mental health conditions. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol compels severe emotional disorder. Drinking to deal with difficult feelings or symptoms of mental disease is sometimes called 'self-medication' by people in the mental health field. This is often why individuals with mental health conditions drink. It can make existing mental health issues worse.
Evidence demonstrates that individuals who consume high amounts of alcohol are vulnerable to higher levels of mental ill health and it can be a contributory factor in some mental diseases, such as depression.
How does drinking affect our moods and mental health?
When we have alcohol in our blood, our mood changes, and our behaviour then even changes. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, and this can make us less inhibited in our behaviour.
Alcohol can also reveal or magnify our underlying feelings. This is one of the reasons that many individuals become angry or aggressive when drinking. If our underlying feelings are of anxiety, unhappiness or anger, then alcohol can magnify them.
What about the after-effects?
When the effects have worn off, one of the main problems linked with using alcohol to deal with anxiety and depression is that individuals may feel much worse. Alcohol is thought to use up and reduce the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, but the brain needs a certain level of neurotransmitters needs to ward off anxiety and depression. This can lead some people to drink more, to ward off these difficult feelings, and a dangerous cycle of dependence can develop.
Alcohol conditions are more common among individuals with more severe mental health problems. If our underlying feelings are of anxiety, anger or unhappiness, then alcohol can magnify them.
One of the main issues connected with using alcohol to deal with anxiety and depression is that people may feel much worse when the effects have worn off. Alcohol is thought to use up and reduce the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, but the brain needs a certain level of neurotransmitters needs to ward off anxiety and depression.