ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND MENTAL DISORDERS

Mental health issues not only arise from consuming too much alcohol. They can even compel individuals to drink too much.

There is some evidence connecting light drinking with better overall health in some adults. Between one and three drinks on a daily basis have been found to help protect against heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a little glass of red wine everyday may decrease risk of stroke in women. That being said there is a lot more proof demonstrating that drinking too much alcohol brings about severe bodily 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 even help to temporarily relieve the symptoms of more serious mental health conditions. Alcohol problems are more common among individuals with more severe mental health problems. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol provokes severe mental illness. Evidence demonstrates that people 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 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. If our underlying feelings are of anger, unhappiness or anxiety, then alcohol can magnify them. What about the after-effects?

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



Alcohol issues are more common among individuals with more severe mental health issues. If our underlying feelings are of unhappiness, anxiety or anger, then alcohol can magnify them. One of the main issues linked 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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