Generally, people consume psychoactive substances like alcohol in the moments of happiness and sorrow, good and bad times, low and elevated mood, etc. However, one must understand that the persistent consumption of alcohol over a long period can actually lead to addiction, develop new complications and worsen the existing mental illnesses.
People consume alcohol to feel relaxed and good. One of the misplaced beliefs among people is that alcohol is the best remedy for stress and tension. While it is true that regular alcohol consumption is dangerous, an individual already affected by a mental illness like depression tends to put his or her life at risk by indulging in alcoholism. With the greater accessibility and acceptance of alcohol, a significant portion of the American population is developing serious problems.
Some of the ways by which alcohol can worsen an individual’s depression are as follows:
Lowers mood-boosting chemicals: Drinking alcohol in excess amount can lower the level of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine present in the human body. This, in turn, makes an individual feel low and further worsens the depressive symptoms. The chronic abuse of alcohol massively affects the balance of neurotransmitters.
Reduces folic acid: The deficiency of folic acid, a member of the B-9 vitamin family, makes the brain age faster. Several studies have substantiated that the amount of folic acid in an individual consuming alcohol on a regular basis is mostly low. A study stated that the chronic alcohol abuse leads to malnutrition that further causes the deficiency of many nutrients, including vitamins like folic acid (vitamin B9).
Disturbs sleeping pattern: As drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can interfere with an individual’s sleeping pattern, it can lead to the development of insomnia or hypersomnia. When a person is unable to sleep properly, the body is unable to repair itself and produce the mood-boosting neurotransmitters. As a result, a person witnesses dramatic changes in his or her mood, running the risk of deteriorating into depression.
Affects brain functioning: There are a number of chemicals that are released by the human body to handle and deal with difficult situations. Being a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, alcohol begins to affect the production of these hormones; hence, a person feels more stressed and tensed. This, in turn, can worsen the symptoms of depression.
Inflicts fatigue: Both drinking and withdrawal from alcohol drain off an immense amount of energy from a person. Since the body is trying to heal from the harmful consequences of alcohol, a person indulging in alcohol tends to feel excessively tired. As a result, a person becomes incapable of performing the routine tasks like grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, etc.
Leads to isolation: While drinking is commonly considered a social activity, it holds true only in a few cases. Drinking has become more of a private affair these days wherein an individual drinks when he or she is away from home and friends. As one becomes addicted to alcohol, he or she feels the need of having it over and over again privately in the comforts of his or her home. Since social interaction is important to help a person overcome depression, one tends to worsen the condition by staying isolated from others.
Recover from the never-ending cycle of alcoholism
It is important to understand that the consumption of any amount of alcohol is not healthy and safe. Rather than succumbing to peer pressure during social events, one must learn to say “No” to alcohol and other substances. Addiction to alcohol is devastating and completely ruin one’s health, especially if a person is also affected by a mental disorder like depression.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a dual diagnosis or coexisting disorders, seek immediate help from one of the acclaimed dual diagnosis treatment centers. The Dual Diagnosis Helpline can assist you in accessing the complete information about the top dual diagnosis treatment centers. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-981-6047 or chat online with one of our experts to connect with the state-of-the-art dual diagnosis treatment facility in your vicinity.