How Alcohol Affects Your Mental Health

Across the UK people drink alcohol, but did you know that it can affect people’s mental health? The reason we drink, and the consequences of excessive drinking are linked with our mental health. Mental health problems not only result from drinking too much alcohol, they can also cause people to drink excessively. 

The Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol can temporarily relive people’s feelings of anxiety and depression and they can often use it as a form of ‘self-medication’ to try and cheer themselves up or sometimes help with sleep.This can be the reason as to why sometimes people with mental health problems drink. But it can make existing mental health problems worse.It can also be used as a form of coping for severe mental illness.

Drinking alcohol excessively can disrupt the body’s ability to rest, therefore it means our body will be working harder to break down the alcohol in our system. This can mean reduced energy levels. Alcohol can affect the central nervous system and can make our moods differ all the time.

One of the serious problems associated with using alcohol to cope with mental health problems is that by consuming it regularly can change the chemistry in the brain. It can decrease the levels of serotonin in the brain which can be a key chemical in depression. Due to this happening, a person can rely on alcohol to relieve depression, but this causes a decrease in the serotonin, leading the person to feel even more depressed.

If you, or someone you know needs support then check out these websites:

http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/

http://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/

http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/