Substance Use

What is the Alcohol Impact on Mental Health?

What is the Alcohol Impact on Mental Health?

Waking up the morning after binge drinking might make you groggy and depressed. So you ask yourself about alcohol’s impact on mental health. 

The effects of alcohol on mental health are vast, but recognizing the link between alcohol and mental health opens the door to getting help when you need it. 

 

Is Alcohol Addictive?

People drink for many reasons. Most people don’t think about alcohol’s impact on mental health when they meet up with friends on a Friday night after work, commiserate with loved ones, or celebrate an achievement.

Many people think of the effect of alcohol as only temporary. However, once it wears off, you are left with a host of unpleasant feelings that society writes off as a simple hangover but, in reality, represent the signs of withdrawal or addiction.

Alcohol is, in fact, so addictive that trying to reduce your alcohol consumption or quit entirely can be dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms can be very severe, and people are legitimate alcoholics. The FDA provides a handful of medications that can be administered in a proper treatment facility to help manage the symptoms in a safe environment.

 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

The most significant reason people drink is because of the way alcohol affects the brain. You may feel the need to drink to loosen up at a party or in a group setting, but you probably aren’t considering alcohol’s impact on mental health.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it depresses or slows down many of your brain’s systems. It disrupts the chemical messages that are sent between your brain and the rest of your body. By slowing down the messenger, you lose control of your inhibition. You start to feel more relaxed, confident, and less anxious. 

But these chemical changes can quickly result in a burst of negative feelings like anxiety, anger, or depression. The more you drink, the more alcohol slows down how effectively your brain can process information around you. This makes it difficult for you to legitimately understand how you are feeling or to appreciate the consequences of your actions.

Many people believe that alcohol helps them to feel better, without realizing that alcohol is what is causing them to feel worse the next day.

 

What are the Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health?

Research indicates that there is a significant relationship between alcohol and mental health. People who drink heavily are more likely to develop mental health problems, and people who already have mental health problems are more likely to drink heavily as a form of self-medication.

Alcohol’s effects on mental health are vast:

Depression

Depression is one of the most widely studied areas. Regular heavy drinking can exacerbate symptoms of depression in people who have an undiagnosed mental health condition.

Anxiety

Alcohol can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, but it doesn’t last. Many people cover up their anxiety with alcohol, which leads to dependence. There are significant links between people with generalized anxiety disorder using alcohol as a coping mechanism or a way to mask their symptoms, especially from other people. 

Similarly, people who drink regularly are more likely to develop anxiety, especially as they continue to lose control over their decisions and behaviors.

 

How to Find Alcohol and Mental Health Treatment Near New Jersey and New York

If you are ready to put an end to the effects of alcohol on mental health, let Water Gap Wellness Center help. Our Tri-State alcohol and drug rehab target the mind and body as one. Our facility recognizes the importance of treating your mental health, not just your physical addiction. 

Too often, individuals get help for a physical addiction alone, but the undiagnosed mental health disorders the alcohol was covering up or the development of anxiety resulting from alcoholism go untouched. Without treating the mind and body as a cohesive unit, it’s far too easy to fall back into old habits and revert to alcohol as a way to self-medicate or temporarily make symptoms disappear.

At our facility, we give you individual and group therapy and holistic treatment to teach you how to recognize triggers in your environment, build healthy coping skills as an alternative to alcohol consumption, and live your best life. 

Let Water Gap Wellness Center help you tackle underlying mental health conditions and addiction today. Contact us today to learn more about our Tri-State outpatient treatment options.

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