lf you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, you’ve probably noticed an emotional change in them. Alcohol directly affects the central nervous system, which is responsible for governing sleep, our reactions and the neurotransmitters that help our brains function. When this system is hijacked by chronic drinking, a person’s mental health can suffer significantly.
What Does Alcohol Do to Your Emotional Health?
Alcohol addiction affects each person differently, but it usually leads to a decline in mental health. There’s evidence to show alcohol can cause damage to neural pathways in the brain, plus the impact excessive drinking has on a person’s behavior can lead to a decline in their emotional well-being.
Alcohol Is a Depressant
Alcohol quite literally depresses your body’s functioning. While there is a sweet spot where this feels pleasant and causes minimal damage, alcoholics never stop there. In excess, alcohol is always physically dangerous, and it blunts emotions as well. When people block out their feelings instead of dealing with them, negative thoughts and behaviors can thrive.
Arguments Blight Personal Relationships
When you’re drunk, your inhibitions almost wholly vanish. As such, you say things you shouldn’t to people you care deeply about. Many couples where one or both people have a drinking problem have frequent blazing fights, which can be harmful to an entire family’s emotional health.
Alcoholism Harms Your Ability to Achieve Goals
Getting drunk is pretty incapacitating. If you’re spending a majority of your time using alcohol or recovering from its effects, you’re unlikely to be reaching your full potential. Addiction is incredibly deceptive, and it tends to trick people into believing that it helps them as opposed to harming them. A vital aspect of the recovery process is learning to clearly see how much better off you are without the alcohol.
Heavy Drinking Limits Your Friendships
People who drink a lot tend to hang out with one type of person: someone else who drinks a lot. This can instigate a cycle of enabling in which you surround yourself with other heavy drinkers to justify your own behavior. When you stop hanging out with people because you value their friendship and start choosing friends based on drinking, you’re missing out on meaningful connections. As we’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic, meaningful contact is crucial.
The Danger of Self-Medicating
Often, people don’t realize what they’re doing, but they’re using alcohol to block out unwanted thoughts and feelings. Whether you want to quickly unwind after a hard day or ease the pain of childhood trauma, every person’s experience is valid and understandable. However, you need to learn ways of coping that make you feel better in the long term.
Find Out More About Alcohol and Emotional Health
If you’re concerned about how much you’ve been drinking recently, don’t hide away. At Changing Tides, we can help you overcome addiction and get back to your best. Call us today at 252-715-3905 for more information or to book an appointment.