PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE

Mental health issues not only result from drinking too much alcohol. They can even provoke people to drink too much.

There is some evidence connecting light drinking with improved physical health in some adults. Between one and three units daily have been found to help defend against heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a small glass of red wine daily may diminish risk of stroke in females. That being said there is much more evidence showing that drinking too much alcohol leads to severe bodily and mental disorders. 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 problems. Alcohol issues are more common among people with more severe mental health issues. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol compels severe mental illness. Evidence indicates 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 emotional disorders, 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 even reveal or magnify our underlying feelings. When drinking, this is one of the reasons that many individuals become aggressive or angry. Anger or unhappiness, then alcohol can magnify them if our underlying feelings are of anxiety. 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 issues are more common among individuals with more severe mental health issues. If our underlying feelings are of anger, unhappiness or anxiety, then alcohol can magnify them. One of the main issues connected 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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