Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health

Mental health conditions not only result from drinking too much alcohol. They can also compel people to drink too much.

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There is some evidence connecting light alcohol consumption with better health in some adults. Between one and three units on a daily basis have been found to help protect us from heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a small glass of red wine everyday may decrease risk of stroke in women.
There is a lot more evidence showing that drinking excessive alcohol results in significant bodily and psychological 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 even help to temporarily relieve the symptoms of more serious mental health conditions.
Alcohol conditions are more common among individuals with more severe mental health conditions. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol provokes severe emotional disorder. Drinking to deal with difficult feelings or symptoms of emotional disorder is sometimes called 'self-medication' by people in the mental health field. This is often why individuals with mental health conditions drink. But it can make existing mental health conditions worse.
Evidence shows 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.
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How does drinking affect our moods and mental health?

When we have alcohol in our blood, our mood changes, and our behaviour then also 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. When drinking, this is one of the reasons that many people become angry or aggressive. Anger or unhappiness, then alcohol can magnify them if our underlying feelings are of anxiety.
What about the after-effects?

detox of the main conditions associated 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. This can lead some individuals to drink more, to ward off these difficult feelings, and a dangerous cycle of dependence can develop.

Alcohol problems 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 associated with using alcohol to deal with anxiety and depression is that individuals 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.
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