The Psychological Effects of Alcohol

Most of us have seen someone drunk before – we watch them stumble, hear them slur their words. The psychological effects of alcohol can be painful to watch. People act in ways they never would while sober. Here at Addiction Recovery Institute of America, there is no judgment. However, we do want to educate everyone on the dangers and effects of alcohol.

Heavy, regular drinking (especially binge drinking) interferes with chemicals throughout the brain. These chemicals are necessary for optimal health, so to have them altered in such a way, can lead to devastating effects. Not only can bring damage be done, but mental health issues can worsen or form, as well. The number of people who struggle with anxiety and/or depression along with alcoholism is outstanding. Not only that but consuming alcohol on a regular basis makes it much more difficult to handle any stress that life throws your way. Today we would like to discuss with you the psychological effects of alcohol.

Do you or someone you know have an addiction to alcohol? Whether you have already experienced the psychological effects of alcohol or not, a treatment program can help you to get sober and into recovery. In the ARIA FL treatment center, we have a range of services that can help to reverse or manage some of the psychological effects and other effects of alcohol.

Alcohol and the Psychological Effects of Alcohol

The brain is such a delicate organ. It relies on a series of processes and chemicals to function properly. The problem is that when people consume alcohol, especially in larger amounts at one time or regularly, the alcohol suppresses these brain chemicals and alters the way they are transmitted. Some of the negative things that can happen when these chemicals are altered include:

  • Thoughts are affected
  • Negative feelings
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Disruption in balance
  • Higher risk of long-term mental health issues

The neurotransmitters, chemicals that help transmit signals from neuron to neuron in the brain, can’t fight against the alcohol. This is why when someone has one drink, they may start feeling more relaxed and more confident. However, the more they drink, the less in control the person would be. The loss of control is what often leads people to drink and drive, get into fights, cheat, lie, steal and act out of character.

Many people’s emotions take over when they are under the influence of alcohol. For example, if someone was angry before they started consuming alcohol at any given time, they may get into a fight while they are drunk. If someone was sad before they started drinking, they may call up their family members or friends and start crying. If someone is already depressed, they might become more depressed after having a drink or two.

Sometimes, the lack of emotional control can be one of the long term effects of alcohol, especially if someone was a binge drinker. The good news is that there are many types of therapy and other treatment options that can help people to learn emotional management skills during their recovery. When implementing these skills, the person can start becoming more in control of their emotions and feelings.

Struggling with Anxiety and Alcoholism

Unfortunately, there are many people who struggle with anxiety that become alcoholics. Oftentimes, they start drinking to try to cover up or hide from their anxious feelings. However, in most cases, that doesn’t work. In fact, people who get drunk to hide from their anxiety often just feel even more anxious, especially after they sober up.

There are also people who don’t have an anxiety disorder, but after they start drinking alcohol regularly or binge drinking, they develop an anxiety disorder. The reason for this is primarily because alcohol is a suppressant which means it can cause a person’s mood to drop or change dramatically.

Even if someone is consuming alcohol and it helps to relieve their anxiety, those effects don’t last. In fact, drinking alcohol regularly can make it much more difficult to be able to relax while sober. In addition, the more someone drinks, the higher tolerance they will have to alcohol. This means they will need more alcohol to get the same effects they used to get. So, for instance, if someone could ease their anxiety after 3 alcoholic beverages when they have a higher tolerance, it may take them an entire 6 pack or even more, before they feel relaxed. The number of drinks or amount of alcohol will continue rising as their tolerance builds up.

As the body processes the alcohol, more feelings of agitation, anxiety, and depression usually set in. Even a hangover can cause feelings of anxiety for some people, especially if they already struggled with anxiety in the first place.

Reducing Stress or Anxiety without Alcohol

Have you been abusing alcohol to try to hide from your anxiety? Have you developed more anxiety as a result of consuming too much alcohol? If either of these is the case, our ARIA FL team wants you to know there are ways to reduce stress and anxiety without alcohol. In fact, during our treatment programs, we teach many of these techniques and anxiety-reduction methods.

The Psychological Effects of Alcohol
 - Reducing Stress or Anxiety without Alcohol

Have you been struggling with anxiety and alcohol abuse? If so, our team wants to make sure you don’t feel alone in this fight any longer. We know how isolating both alcoholism and anxiety can be and we are here for you. We can get you into a co-occurring disorder treatment program. All you have to do to get started is to call us. We can start teaching your relaxation methods including yoga and meditation during your first days in the treatment program. Over the course of the treatment, we can help reduce the physical, physiological and psychological effects of alcohol on your life, too.

Depression and Alcoholism

Another mental health issue that commonly occurs when someone is consuming alcohol is depression. Unfortunately, there are also many people who struggle with depression that drink to try to escape the feelings they are having. Most of the time, the depression gets worse. However, some of these people realize that if they get really drunk, they can forget how they are feeling for a short time, so they get drunk more often. This is where an addiction develops and the depression worsens even more. It truly is a vicious cycle.

Did you struggle with depression and use alcohol to cope? Are you struggling to work through the depression that was caused by your drinking? Does your drinking make the depression worse or vice versa? No matter which order the cycle went or goes in for you, the truth is that alcohol plays no mercy on anyone. If someone wasn’t already depressed, they will likely develop depression from regular alcohol abuse.

In addition, when it comes time to go through the withdrawal process, the body is so used to alcohol that depression often sets in even worse. The good part about this, however, is that depression can lessen over time. This is just one of the many reasons why our team and other addiction recovery professionals highly recommend people attend a detox program when they want to stop using alcohol. In the treatment program, you can receive medications and other forms of treatment to help reduce depression. There are many common medications that have helped people to work through the detox process and have a better mood when they start the treatment for their recovery.

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Alcoholism and Other Mental Health Issues

Unfortunately, the cycle of alcoholism doesn’t only stop with depression and anxiety. Alcohol abuse can lead to or worsen many other mental health issues, as well.

Alcohol abuse is linked to self-harm, psychosis and suicide. The number of people who attempt suicide while under the influence of alcohol is alarming and it isn’t just adults either. There are teenagers and even younger kids who are consuming alcohol and attempting suicide.

If you or someone you know is depressed, in psychosis, harming themselves or just doesn’t seem in the right state of mind while under the influence of alcohol, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1. You could be saving your own or someone else’s life.

Impulsivity and Alcoholism

Another thing that should be noted about alcoholism is it causes people to behave impulsively and sometimes makes them dramatic, too. So, for instance, if you feel like “life couldn’t be any worse than it is right now while you are drinking,” you may attempt suicide, even though when sober, you may be able to find a way out of the situation you are in. Alcohol doesn’t allow for reasonable thinking processes, especially after that first drink.

More About the Psychosis

Another one of the psychological effects of alcohol that you should know more about is psychosis. We mentioned it above, however, it is best to talk about it separately, too.

When someone drinks over 30 units a day for many weeks, it can lead to psychosis. This is a severe mental health illness where delusions and hallucinations occur. Psychosis can be caused by intoxication and the withdrawal process. If you were a heavy drinker and suddenly stopped drinking, you are more likely to experience psychosis as a withdrawal symptom. However, if you attend a detox program, you can get help to manage this mental health issue until it subsides.

If you are currently abusing alcohol and start experiencing signs of despair or even psychosis, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Our ARIA FL team is here to help you and others get sober and into recovery. We know that it can be difficult to take that first step into recovery. However, we are here to help you from the first phone call through the rest of your recovery.

Being Influenced to Get Drunk by Others

The social idea of drinking is that it is fun and exciting. However, being influenced by others to get drunk isn’t fun. In fact, it can knock down a person’s feelings of self-worth, confidence and joy. It can make a person feel as if they are less than they are worth. It is important to bring up that the words of another when it comes to alcohol consumption shouldn’t have such a powerfully, intense hold over others. However, we understand the concept of social pressures and we want to be here for you when you decide to take back control. We want to help you see that the addiction or alcohol misuse doesn’t have to keep taking over your life. The list of others who are impacting your decision to keep drinking or using drugs can be dwindled away as you get into recovery, as well. Quitting is possible and we are here to help you to accomplish this goal.

Getting Back Your Control

As noted above, when you decide that you want your life back after any length of alcohol abuse, you should reach out to our ARIA FL team. From the intake process through the aftercare planning, our team is ready to help you get back control over your life.

No matter how alcoholism has been affecting a user’s brain, other organs or overall health, we know that is possible to quit drinking.

We have some starting steps to share that can help you regain control over your life.

The Psychological Effects of Alcohol
 - steps to get back control

Enroll in an Alcoholism Treatment Program Today

Are you feeling like life is being cut short by alcohol abuse and addiction? Are you ready to put a stop to the psychological effects of alcohol on your life? If so, don’t wait any longer to reach out for help. Here at ARIA FL, we have the treatment programs, supportive care and help you need to finally overcome the alcohol abuse and addictive lifestyle.

Contact us today to enroll in an alcoholism treatment program.