People usually consume alcohol to unwind and get rejuvenated without realizing that it could actually become a reason for low mood and depression. In case one is already depressed, alcohol might be elevating the symptoms. If one is experiencing negative mood after regular drinking sessions, the mental state might be declining.
Here are some ways in which alcohol can worsen depression:
1. Lowers serotonin and norepinephrine levels: Over time, consumption of alcohol lowers the level of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, which can exacerbate depressive symptoms. Continuous drinking leads to an imbalance in the levels of these neurotransmitters that cause persistent low mood.
2. Reduces folic acid: Research has established that consuming alcohol over a period leads to the reduction of folic acid levels in the body. Folic acid is an important vitamin belonging to the B-9 family and its deficiency can lead to faster aging of the brain.
3. Causes insomnia and hypersomnia: It is a well-established fact that drinking messes up one’s sleep cycle. It not only causes insomnia but also hypersomnia. Insomnia is an inability to sleep while hypersomnia is an inability to stay awake, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness. Lack or too much of sleep does not give the required energy to the brain, making the body feel lethargic all the time.
4. Depresses central nervous system: Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. It has a tendency to block corticotropins, which are released when a person is stressed out. When the body is unable to respond to stress, one is bound to feel irritable and angry.
5. Causes fatigue: When one drinks on a regular basis, one is bound to feel tired. This is because the body tries to repair itself from the harmful effects of alcohol. Constant weariness can bring down the mood as it prevents a person from doing things he/she wants to do like meeting friends, finishing household chores, pursuing a hobby, etc.
6. Boosts isolation: For many people, drinking can be a social activity; however, it becomes more of a private affair when it develops into an abusive behavior. The guilt and shame of drinking excessively encourages one to remain aloof – a critical factor in causing depression.
7. Increases anxiety: Many people pick up a glass of beer or wine to calm their nerves but too much drinking can actually cause anxiety. Once a person develops tolerance, it can make dealing with stress really tough. Since alcohol has a direct impact on one’s mood, once its effects wear off, a person is bound to become anxious.
8. Brings down physical activity: When one drinks excessively, one’s potential to do physical activity decreases tremendously. This causes a dip in self-esteem and raises self-image issues, exacerbating depression.
9. Reduces need of nutrition: When one drinks excessively, he/she does not feel like making smart food choices. This can result in a significant lack of nutrition, which can cause mood instability. People tend to binge-eat while drinking, substituting healthier foods with chips, burgers, pizzas and aerated drinks. As the mind doesn’t get any nourishment, a person tends to experience negative thoughts.
10. Heightens feelings of shame and worthlessness: Alcohol abuse has a way of making people feel guilty and worthless as they seem to have no control over their life. Over time, such people might feel that they are in a dark and desolate place, and the vicious cycle will never end.
Recovery from alcohol is possible
Alcohol addiction can affect a person’s life in various ways. It not only affects one’s finances and relationships but also causes extreme physical and psychological distress. When an addiction and a mental disorder co-exist, it’s called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Simultaneous treatment for both the problems is crucial for complete recovery. If one illness is left undiagnosed or untreated, it can worsen the other condition and deteriorate the overall health condition.
Sovereign Health is a leading name in the field of behavioral health and addiction treatment. The team of trained and experienced professionals provide evidence-backed services to ensure total recovery from addiction to alcohol or any other kind of substance. We offer an integrated approach for dual diagnosis treatment in order to ensure long-lasting recovery of our patients. For more information on our dual diagnosis treatment centers spread across the United States, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with one of our experts.