Alcohol Addiction: How Does It Affect Mental Health and How Do You Prevent It?

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Alcohol Addiction - How Does It Affect Mental Health and How Do You Prevent It

According to research conducted by the UK-based Mental Health Foundation, the physiological and psychological effects of alcohol in people suffering from mental health issues are two times greater than that of the general population. Statistics also show that alcohol dependency increases one’s risk of developing mental or psychological disorders.

Alcoholism and Mental Health   

The link between alcohol addiction and mental health should not come as a surprise. Dozens of studies can prove that alcohol influences the brain by changing its chemistry. Certain parts of the brain are affected by drinking spirits. It produces a euphoric feeling by acting on the mesolimbic or reward pathways in the brain to release dopamine. This feel-good sensation can cause one to abuse alcohol.

Brain mass is also reduced for an alcoholic. There are fewer neurons along the prefrontal cortex, causing changes in emotions and personality.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

Psychological effects can be seen immediately in people who have acute alcoholism. Some of these are:

Insomnia

Minimal alcohol consumption can disrupt a normal sleep pattern. With drinking, it might be easier to fall asleep. However, as soon as the body starts processing the alcohol, deep slumber becomes poor quality sleep.

Loss of Control

The psychological effects of alcoholism start once it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Too much drinking can affect one’s coordination, so it is easy to lose control of your motor functions.

Impaired Judgment

Certain parts of the brain take charge of impulses. However, with alcoholism, these are over-ridden, causing delays. That makes it hard to determine the positive and negative consequences. This leads to poor decision-making.

Confusion or Disorientation

Losing inhibitions is one of the psychological effects of alcohol. This prompts people to use this substance excessively. However, this can also cause confusion, delusions, and disorientation.

Mood swings

Alcohol also changes the endocrine system. This leads to constant mood swings and bouts of depression.

Long-Term Mental Effects of Alcohol

In the long run, the physical and mental effects of alcohol are magnified to a greater extent. These are:

Depression

Excessive drinking can be a form of escape for some people. However, once sobriety sets in, depression is more likely to occur. The need for drinking spirits surfaces, and this becomes habitual. Depression is very common and a known mental side effect of drinking too much. In fact, a third of people suffering from mental depression are alcohol dependent. With depression and alcohol addiction, depression seems to come first. Evidence suggests that kids suffering from depression develop a desire to drink. Suicide is also mostly driven by severe depression.

Personality Changes

Intoxication can create negative emotions. It likewise affects moral standards, not only because of the psychological effects of alcohol but also because it alters the body’s serotonin levels. This chemical transmits mood signals to the brain. This particular mental issue is one of the many ways that alcohol addiction affects your relationships with family and friends.

Alcohol Use Disorder

People with AUD have a continuous desire to drink, even going as far as drinking alcohol in the workplace.  

How to End the Mental Effects of Alcohol Addiction

How do you put an end to the mental or psychological effects of drinking?

The best way to get treat of the psychological issues related to alcoholism is to address alcohol addiction head on. Overcoming dependence is quite difficult but possible. One must be determined to move on. The patient must not be afraid to look for alcohol addiction treatment options or find support groups.

The psychological effects of addiction set a pattern that can be hard to pull yourself out of, and this is why it is important to seek aid in institutions that are equipped to help you help yourself.

At Haven House Recovery Center, we approach addiction from a spiritual perspective. Our Christ-centered programs are in conjunction with clinical practice guidelines. We help to change our residents for the better by helping them grow spiritually through recovery. Our strong belief is that to succeed in overcoming addiction, one must combine the spiritual component with other programs like education, individual sessions, group morning meetings, and peer accountability.

We also have thrift stores that offer work therapy opportunities for our recovering men. These help them learn and develop new skills, practice discipline, value hard work, build relationships, and work toward a common goal. This program will help them to become contributing members in their communities as soon as they graduate. As with all changes, the beginnings are always the hardest. If you need assistance in battling alcohol addiction, feel free to call our Nashville recovery center now!

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