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Every day 261 Americans die as a result of excessive alcohol use. It’s a sobering statistic, and if you have a drinking problem, you’re at risk.
The fact that alcohol can cause physical health concerns is well-known. But, did you know that there are psychological effects of alcohol as well?
Your mental health can impact your physical health and your drinking. So it’s important to be aware of the common psychological effects of alcohol.
Keep reading to learn about how drinking can affect your mental health.
If you’re drinking to overcome stress or anxiety, it’s essential to realize it’s probably making you worse. Alcohol causes chemical changes in your brain. It’s a depressant, and it lowers inhibitions which can help with the anxiety or stress that you’re feeling.
However, the effects wear off quickly. When you rely on it to help deal with your stress and anxiety, you will need it more and more to help you relax. Eventually, you will build up a tolerance and need more and more to get the same effect.
In addition, when your body processes alcohol, it can create feelings of anxiety. You could also experience worse anxiety symptoms with a hangover.
The tendency to self-medicate makes emotional sobriety in treatment even more critical. Read about emotional sobriety here.
It’s difficult to know if people drink to help with their depression or if they have depression because of their drinking. However, what is known is that drinking regularly and heavily has been connected to symptoms of depression.
Alcohol can impact a few nerves and chemical systems in your body. These systems help to regulate your mood.
In addition, individuals on depression medicine need to be careful not to mix their medication with alcohol.
Three: Suicide and Self Harm
Because alcohol does lower your inhibitions, it can lead to impulsive behavior. You might do things you wouldn’t do in other situations.
This can include suicide and self-harm. With one of the psychological effects of alcoholism being depression; it can trigger thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation.
However, even if you have a plan for when you have those thoughts, you’re less likely to follow through on your plan to get help when you’re drinking. In fact, studies that have looked at lower drinking ages show that lower minimum-age drinking laws result in increased youth suicides.
Psychosis is a mental health condition that causes hallucinations and delusions. This generally happens when you’re drinking extreme amounts.
You can experience psychosis when you are dependent on alcohol and suddenly stop drinking. You can also experience it during acute intoxication and withdrawal.
Know the Psychological Effects of Alcohol
Our list of the psychological effects of alcohol is short and quick. It’s just touching the edge of the potential impacts of alcohol on your mental health. If you are drinking to cope or have a problem with drinking, it’s vital to get the help you need.
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