Mental health issues not only arise from drinking too much alcohol. They can also provoke individuals to drink too much.
There is some evidence linking light alcohol consumption with better physical health in some adults. Between 1 and 3 drinks daily have been found to help defend us from heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a little glass of red wine daily may decrease risk of stroke in women.
There is much more evidence showing that drinking too much alcohol results in serious bodily and psychological 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 even help to temporarily relieve the symptoms of more serious mental health problems.
Alcohol problems are more common among individuals with more severe mental health conditions. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol causes severe mental illness.
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 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 even 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 angry or aggressive. Anger or unhappiness, then alcohol can magnify them if our underlying feelings are of anxiety.
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What about the after-effects?
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. 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 people with more severe mental health conditions. If our underlying feelings are of unhappiness, anxiety or anger, then alcohol can magnify them.
One of the main conditions 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.