Mental health issues not only result from drinking too much alcohol. They can even provoke individuals to drink too much.
There is some evidence linking light alcohol consumption with improved overall health in some adults. Between problems with alcohol and 3 drinks daily have been found to help defend us from heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a small glass of red wine daily may decrease risk of stroke in women.
There is far more evidence showing that drinking excessive alcohol leads to serious bodily and mental illnesses.
Put 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 issues.
Alcohol issues are more common among individuals with more severe mental health problems. 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 individuals in the mental health field. This is often why people with mental health conditions drink. It can make existing mental health conditions worse.
Evidence shows 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 illnesses, 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, alcoholic problems 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?
When the effects have worn off, one of the main conditions connected 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 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 anger, unhappiness or anxiety, then alcohol can magnify them.
One 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.