The emotional effects of alcohol may include feelings of euphoria, relaxation, pleasure, mood swings, depression, anxiety, sadness, and anger. There are several factors that determine how alcohol affects a person’s emotional state. Furthermore, why a person drinks also factors into how they will feel once they consume alcohol.
Constant binge drinking often leads to mental health concerns as well as physical health problems. A person who has an addiction to alcohol will often experience a steady decline in their emotions and overall mood. WIthout help from an alcohol addiction treatment center, the emotional effects of alcohol threaten to overtake their entire life, dragging them down under the weight of addiction.
The Link Between Alcohol and Depression
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is often linked to depression. People who are depressed may turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication. Ironically, alcohol only leads to further depression. While it can offer short-term relief from the symptoms of depression, over time and with continued use, it will make them worse.
Someone who is not normally depressed may become that way if they binge drink regularly. Alcohol and depression can lead to isolation, changes in behavior, or suicidal thoughts. In addition, an individual with AUD may have difficulty concentrating or lack interest in social activities, hobbies, responsibilities, or work.
The Connection Between Alcohol and Anxiety
Just like depression, someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder may turn to alcohol as a form of relaxation. This can lead to dependency on alcohol if the pattern continues for several weeks or months. Small amounts of alcohol may help a person relax, but continued use will only lead to substance-induced anxiety.
Anxiety typically occurs once the initial effects of alcohol wear off. It can last for several hours or extend into the next day. A person may increase alcohol consumption to dull their anxiety. However, they become more anxious as they deal with feelings of guilt, worry, or fear of what their alcoholism is doing to them.
Alcohol Addiction and Bipolar Disorder
The emotional effects of alcohol are intensified if someone has bipolar disorder. One of the defining characteristics of bipolar disorder is impulsive or compulsive behavior. Therefore, they are more likely to binge more often. The desire to drink increases as the individual experiences severe mood swings that fluctuate from hopelessness to elation.
In other words, someone with bipolar disorder may drink whether they feel depressed or when they are in a great mood. Regardless of why a person drinks, alcohol intensifies the symptoms of bipolar disorder, making it more difficult to stop. One drink can easily turn into several within a short period.
Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Co-occurring disorders are common among those who suffer from AUD. In fact, research shows that about 50% of people with substance use disorders also suffer from mental health concerns that can make recovery challenging. These mental health concerns include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Once diagnosed, a treatment specialist can develop a treatment plan that addresses both conditions.
The purpose of dual diagnosis treatment programs is to get to the root of the addiction. Treating alcoholism without addressing mental health concerns does not solve the problem. A comprehensive addiction treatment program can help those in recovery find stability and build healthy coping skills to promote lasting sobriety.
Get Help for The Emotional Effects of Alcohol at The Right Step Hill Country
If you are currently experiencing the emotional effects of alcohol and need help, then contact The Right Step Hill Country. In our peaceful, rural addiction treatment center, we offer detox, rehab, and aftercare for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues. To learn more, reach out to our team at 1.844.675.1628.