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Mental problems associated with alcoholism

Mental problems associated with alcoholism

Alcohol is an omnipresent beverage in the social circles of the United States – be it a wedding, a get-together over a weekend, cracking a huge business deal or feeling elated. Young or old, alcohol is consumed by one and all, irrespective of any barriers to age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status etc.

Teens, for example, often get introduced to alcohol due to a temptation or under peer pressure. Single mothers might drink quite often to seek respite from the strain that comes from rearing children, juggling between work and grocery shopping and so on. The older generation and empty nesters turn to alcohol to deal with their loneliness and so on. Therefore, alcohol is a ubiquitous drink across the multiple geographies of the country, regardless of one’s sex, age or social stature.

People who get addicted to alcohol can’t imagine their lives without it and people into excessive and binge drinking often experience physical symptoms like fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, slurred speech, disorientation and hyperglycemia.

Chronic addiction to alcohol causes various mental illnesses. However, owing to the lack of knowledge that these disorders have stemmed from alcohol, people dependent on alcohol take to self-medication or do not take these disorders seriously because for them, alcohol seeking tendency is above everything else.

Mental disorders resulting from alcohol consumption

People who take a drink or two, rarely feel relaxed mentally. They feel free of their inhibitions only till the time they can feel the effect of alcohol. Further, those who consume alcoholic beverages moderately, regularly experience irritation, nervousness, and gloom and these behavioral changes start affecting their relationships. Further, people addicted to alcoholic often experience hallucinations, paranoia and distorted sleep. Some of the other mental illnesses associated with alcohol consumption are listed hereunder:

Depression

Millions of people have a low threshold when they come face-to-face with a problem and when this inability to cope with challenges hits a person, he or she is likely to get depressed. Depression is a debilitating and an all-consuming disorder. When a person feels incapacitated to tide over this phase, he or she might get into drinking in pursuit of peace of mind.

Anxiety

A growing body of literature supports the fact that people struggling with alcoholism find it exceedingly difficult to recover from traumatic events, apparently because alcohol affects the brain chemistry. Therefore, heavy drinkers are predisposed to anxiety disorders. In addition, anxiety can also manifest when an individual undergoes an alcohol withdrawal.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Alcohol becomes an inseparable part of an individual dependent on alcohol. This person might be consuming alcohol to seek relief from his OCD symptoms. However, they don’t realize that alcohol can alleviate OCD symptoms only temporarily.

Personality impairment

Alcohol is a powerful intoxicating agent. It has the potential to slow down the synapses of brain, thereby, disturbing the level of neurotransmitter serotonin which relays the signals from one part of the brain to another. It is essential for regulating mood, sleep, memory, temperature, and so on. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with the development of depression.

Road to recovery

Alcohol is often responsible for developing and exacerbating mental health disorders. However, an individual dependent on alcohol continues to drink in an attempt to self-medicate, thinking that alcohol might be an antidote to their mental agonies and thus, the vicious circle continues. Therefore, instead of resorting to self-help techniques, one must seek professional help to be able to adopt an integrated approach of treating co-occurring disorders.

If you or your loved one is suffering from dual diagnosis, contact the Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know more about the dual diagnosis treatment facilities in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-337-7631 or chat online to know about the best rehab programs in Florida.

Also read:

Why do substance use disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses?

Ways to manage emotional stress to stop substance abuse

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