“Alcohol consumption is injurious to health” – this is a common saying that is heard everywhere. But how far does this go into anyone’s mind? Alcohol lovers are just running helter-skelter all over, as and when the shops are opened. As the wine shops are closed during this lockdown, they are sitting homes waiting impatiently for those doors to open and when the liquor shops are open after these 40 days lockdown, it was nothing but a huge festival for them. Forgetting the masks and social distancing precautions they just jumped at the opportunity and jammed the roads. But, what makes them so attached to drinking, and why are they not getting uninterested even after the 40 days of the gap they have to have a drink? While alcohol lovers are getting crazy, their families are suffering from the discouragement of hope in the near future. Online counseling is helping many individuals to get out of such addictions, depressions, and other mental health issues.
Alcohol Evokes Emotions
Did you ever felt that your potential someone who drinks becomes so emotional when intoxicated? Not only just being sentimental or emotional but most of them start crying, lament over things and say that alcohol keeps them stress-free. Studies say that people having high anxiety conditions or any other anxiety disorder are more prone to alcohol consumption. It is usually found that such people prefer alcohol consumption to calm down their anxiety and stress.
Alcohol makes people nostalgic, triggering emotions like happy, thrilling, excitement in the starting but leaving them with negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, and grief long after the bottle gets emptied. It is always recommendable to express the feelings inside. But for the personality types, who tend to cope with stress by keeping negative emotions to oneself, are more likely to experience suppressed immune systems and health-related problems. When such people find happiness in drinking, it is hard for them to come out of that habit. Chronic excessive alcohol consumption can lead to deficits in many different cognitive abilities, including learning and memory, perceptual-motor skills, visual-spatial processing, and problem-solving. Its effect on our cognitive abilities stops us from tuning out irrelevant information in order to focus on the critical aspects of a task.
Excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to stomach diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, impaired sexual functioning, cognitive impairment, and fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition of retardation and physical abnormalities that occurs in children of mothers who are heavy drinkers. This is also associated with suicides and suicide attempts in individuals and also their family members who get frustrated with these drinkers.
How Alcohol Affects Us Mentally?
In addition to being harmful to physical health, alcohol consumption highly affects mental health. Increased sensitivity to stress and anxiety and alterations in homeostatic balance is also the results of alcohol consumption. To put simple, when a person has a habit of alcohol consumption, he becomes more prone to stress. The natural ability to tolerate stress and anxiety gets reduced for him and this makes a person mentally weaker that he cannot handle them. The consumption of alcohol seems like a stress-reliever for him and this triggers his need to have more. Also, the homeostatic balance gets affected due to the consumption of alcohol. Maintaining homeostatic balance, meaning, maintaining a stable internal environment with constant monitoring and adjustments as external conditions change, is an essential need of the body. If this is unbalanced, that gives a gateway to all kinds of health issues in our body.
Studies say that repeated exposure to and withdrawal from drug use leads to increased stress sensitivity and increased behavioral stress response. During the progression from drug use to abuse, alterations in hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic structures, such as the amygdala lead to increased stress sensitivity. Exposure to stressors during this time can reinstate the habit of drug abuse as it helps relieve stress. Unavailability of the drug can increase behavioral stress response. In short, the person gets addicted to the consumption of alcohol or drug believing that it relieves the stress. In fact, alcohol makes one unable to tolerate stress and all of this leads to different kinds of behaviors.
There is a grave need to control our stress and anxiety under these circumstances. When mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, OCD, etc. increase in people, they are more prone to develop auto-immune diseases. It is a widely-known fact that a weakened immune system is a welcome sign of numerous serious health conditions.
Emotional Impact of Stress
It is the field of Psychoneuroimmunology that says how the immune system and nervous system are connected to each other, which results in an impact on a person’s physical and emotional health combined. Many studies were carried out to examine the influence of the immune and nervous system on the psychological consequences of stress. PNI research suggests that chronic stress can lead to exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, and the changes in thinking patterns, personality changes, and behavioral problems.
There are numerous significant effects of stress that take a toll on a person’s mental health. Stress is like a slow poison inflicting the mind, which is the driver of our body. The extreme effects of stress and overthinking are already showing us a number of examples in today’s society where people are getting either directly or indirectly affected every now and then. It is the inability of handling this stress that is making people get addicted to over-eating, over-sleeping, drug abuse like alcohol consumption, smoking, and caffeine consumption, and is also resulting in various mood disorders.
In case you are experiencing such stresses or feeling it difficult to come out of that addiction kind of behavior, or if you are experiencing any type of mental health issue, our experts are here for your rescue. We at Wellness Hub are here to offer help from best psychologists to cope with any kind of psychological disorders through offline counseling, online counseling sessions such as phone counseling or video counseling.