Many people drink to change their mood and to have fun. If you’re depressed or feeling anxious you may choose a drink to lift your mood and relax. Chronic depression and anxiety may cause you to drink, which causes you to be depressed, which causes you to drink. The entire process becomes a vicious circle unless the cycle gets broken.
Alcohol is a Depressant
Alcohol is a depressant; it relaxes the body and slows it down. Because alcohol causes the body to relax, people with health problems and depression may drink alcohol in order to deal with these issues. However, because of this, consuming alcohol can also increase the depression symptoms or the amount of depression a person experiences.
How Does Alcohol Influence Our Mood?
Regular consumption of alcohol changes and influences your mood in several ways, such as:
- Lowering inhibitions that lead to poor choices.
- Interrupting sleep patterns. Interrupted sleep patterns bring about fatigue and less energy.
- Revealing feelings of adverse traumatic events that can be overwhelming and affect your safety.
Alcohol Can Exacerbate Existing Mental Health Issues
Drinking also may make your existing health problems worse, even though you feel better for a short time when consuming alcohol. Stressed out or depressed people may also be having a hard time sleeping, and may self-medicate their symptoms with alcohol to help themselves sleep.
While drinking might not cause mental health issues by itself alone, it certainly can be a contributing factor in making some mental health problems worse.
Regularly using alcohol to deal with mental health problems only makes matters worse. It also changes your brain chemistry by reducing serotonin levels. Serotonin is the brain chemical that causes a person to be in a positive mood. The more you drink, the less serotonin your brain makes, and the more depressed you become.
To break the cycle of drinking and depression, you’ll need to see a physician that can treat your depression and eliminate your need for alcohol to be happy.