Mental health conditions not only arise from consuming too much alcohol. They can also provoke people to drink too much.
There is some evidence linking light drinking with improved physical health in some adults. Between 1 and 3 units daily have been found to help protect against heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease, and a small glass of red wine daily may diminish risk of stroke in females.
There is a lot more evidence indicating that drinking excessive alcohol leads to significant bodily and psychological illnesses.
Stated alcohol problems
, 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 conditions.
Alcohol conditions are more common among individuals with more severe mental health conditions. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol compels severe mental illness.
Evidence shows that individuals 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 diseases, 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. How these change depends on how much we drink and how quickly we drink it. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, and this can make us less inhibited in our behaviour. It can also help 'numb' our emotions, so we can avoid difficult issues in our lives.
Alcohol can even reveal or magnify our underlying feelings. This is one of the reasons that many individuals become angry or aggressive when drinking. If our underlying feelings are of unhappiness, anxiety or anger, then alcohol can magnify them.
What about the after-effects?
One of the main conditions associated 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 problems are more common among people with more severe mental health conditions. If our underlying feelings are of anxiety, anger or unhappiness, then alcohol can magnify them.
One of the main problems 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.