The link between drugs, alcohol, and mental health is intense and complex. Specifically looking at alcohol which is often considered socially acceptable to relax and cope with stress.
We know that alcohol is a depressant, and it can lead to increased stress, anxiety and has a negative impact on our thoughts and feelings.
When these things are considered, the link between alcohol and mental health is a dangerous one. Alcohol can increase feelings of sadness, make people more likely to lash out and harm themselves and others, and worsen their mental health issues over time.
Alcohol is often turned to as a coping mechanism, but it has a detrimental impact on our mental health and damages us physically. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol and mental health, contact Findlay Recovery to see how we can support long-term alcohol recovery.
How Can Alcohol Impact your Mental Health?
When people feel sad or alone, they often turn to something outside of friends and family to help – most often, that can be alcohol. In the early stages, most people don’t know that they are trying to treat a mental illness with alcohol. There are some early warning signs that you can look out for, and they can help prevent further impact:
- Problems with concentration
- Memory problems
- Changes in personality
- Anxiety may become more apparent or exacerbated
- Depression may become more noticeable or exacerbated
- Unclear thinking and irrational decisions
- Difficulty learning new information and skills
If you have noticed that these are present in your friends or family or yourself, you must seek an affordable treatment center and understand all of your treatment options.
Alcohol changes the brain; it causes a depletion of the chemicals in our brain that help control anxiety naturally. Over time the impact is so severe that we become reliant on alcohol to keep anxiety at bay. It is a vicious cycle.
We know that alcohol impacts our ability to think critically, logically, and rationally. This is why the likelihood of violence, aggressive behavior, and irrational decision-making is more likely when someone is drinking.
Using Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism
Many people struggling to deal with anxiety and depression will turn to alcohol to help remove some of the complicated and low feelings. Unfortunately, alcohol increases the low feelings and inhibits our ability to rely on our natural anxiety diffusers.
Healthy coping mechanisms can be learned at an alcohol detox center to help the person replace alcohol with healthy coping mechanisms.
Facilities like Findlay Recovery are equipped with specialists who will find the proper coping mechanisms for those using alcohol as a coping mechanism. They may include:
- Talking to a professional
- Creating and implementing stress management skills
- Correctly prescribed medications
- Talking about issues you are facing in a safe environment
You may have heard the saying ‘drowning your sorrows,’ which many people use to justify drinking to excess to overcome emotional strife. Alcohol offers temporary relief, and once the ability to process and feel returns, alcohol is consumed once again. The numbing of emotions is detrimental to your mental health and physical health. Healthy coping mechanisms will ensure that you do not need to seek solace in something that harms you.
Can Alcohol Cause Low Self-Esteem?
Low self-esteem can make people think that they are not deserving of help and shouldn’t seek treatment to help with mental health issues and find some happiness. Low self-esteem is the leading cause of:
- Feeling you have no quality of life
- That you are not worthy of achievements
- You do not deserve to be happy
- You are not worthy of relationships
Relying on alcohol to numb these feelings and reduce them will further compound mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Alcohol is often used as a means to raise one’s self-esteem and confidence, but in the long run, it depletes feelings of worth and lowers self-esteem significantly. To the point where people with low self-esteem, depression, and/or anxiety believe that they can no longer cope with their feelings unless they drink.
The impact of alcohol on mental health is far-reaching and requires an alcohol detox in safe and secure surroundings. You or your loved one must seek help from a treatment center that works on evidence-based treatments.
Treatment centers which are designed to equip the person with the tools to manage any mental health issues more positively and healthily. It may require staying within a facility to complete detox and a program that offers around-the-clock support and personalized treatment.