Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Ben Lesser
It can be stressful to meet new people or put yourself in new circumstances. Our fear of saying or doing anything wrong can be daunting, so we always look for the fastest way to relieve our stress. Many people use alcohol as a “social lubricant” to help them cope with stressful circumstances and communicate with others i.e alcohol abuse.
Some people, on the other hand, do Alcohol abuse rather than enjoy it.Alcohol has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental or emotional distress in people of all ages, including teenagers, middle-aged people, young adults in college, and even seniors. Alcohol is consumed for a variety of reasons, and many individuals who engage in unhealthy alcohol abuse activity do so for unknown reasons. If you have a family member, neighbour, or acquaintance, be on the lookout for signs that they are consuming alcohol to cope with psychological distress..
Alcoholism and Depression
The connection between depression and alcohol abuse is difficult to establish.
Around one-third of people who suffer from depression also have a substance abuse problem; though experts differ about whether alcoholism or addiction triggers depression, it’s most likely both. Alcohol abuse and use of other depressants alter the structure and function of the brain, resulting in depressive symptoms.
This is why, despite the lack of clarity about the exact causal association between the two disorders, so many people suffer from alcoholism and depression, a condition known as dual diagnosis. Symptoms of people who do Alcohol abuse to mask their depression include extreme weight loss or gain, irritability, disinterest in previously enjoyed activities, failure to focus, pronounced lethargy, and a lack of energy and motivation.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Abuse
As a consequence of a traumatic incident, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described by recurrent bouts of overwhelming anxiety and stress. Survivors of childhood sexual or physical abuse and veterans who have endured horrible crimes, rape and violent assault victims, natural disaster and car accident survivors, and others who have experienced a variety of traumatic incidents are all vulnerable to PTSD. In a nutshell, PTSD develops when individuals are exposed to events from which they cannot heal independently, increasing their likelihood to resort to drug abuse.In reality, more than half of those with PTSD continue to consume Alcohol.
The brain responds to a trauma similarly to how it reacts to Alcohol abuse or opioids, causing a spike in endorphins to relieve fear and pain. Alcohol abuse is susceptible to emotional outbursts accompanied by binge drinking to alleviate such emotions; however, Alcohol abuse exacerbates stress and depression by releasing endorphins that spike, subside, and contribute to another binge drinking session. Many people who do Alcohol abuse to treat their PTSD are more likely to fall into this trap.
Check at Treatment Options and Mental Health Solutions
Alcohol abuse can be a coping mechanism for a variety of psychological problems. It’s uncertain whether high rates of dual diagnosis—with mood disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychological disorders—indicate that mental health problems can cause or induce alcohol abuse. However, there’s no doubt that Alcohol exacerbates the symptoms of mental and emotional problems. Knowing when Alcohol abuse is being used to mask an underlying problem can allow you to refer individuals in need to the best treatment services available, preventing co-occurring problems from causing more damage or worsening substance abuse behavior. Please contact us as soon as possible if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms so that one of our admissions coordinators can discuss your care options with you. We’ll help you or a loved one get back on track by calling our toll-free helpline at any time of day or night.
Alcohol is an odd substance. It can make us forget, even if only for a few hours. Few of us become suicidal, but many of us become mentally worse due to our experiences.
When alcohol abuse crosses the line from social or moderate drinking to problem drinking, it’s not always obvious. Drinking is so prevalent in many cultures, and the consequences differ so much from person to person that evaluating if it has become an issue can be difficult. You’re in potentially dangerous territory if you drink to deal with issues or avoid feeling bad.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can sneak up on you, so be mindful of the warning signs and take measures to reduce your consumption if you notice them. Understanding the issue is the first step toward resolving it, followed by reducing or fully removing it.
Alcoholism and Alcohol abuse can have a detrimental effect on any aspect of your life. Long-term alcohol use has the potential to damage nearly any organ in the body, including the brain. Alcoholism may harm your mental health, finances, career, and ability to establish and sustain satisfying relationships. Your family, friends, and colleagues may suffer as a result of your alcoholism or alcohol abuse.
Many interconnected factors contribute to the development of alcoholism, including your anatomy, how you were raised, your social climate, and your mental wellbeing. Drinking issues and alcohol abuse are more common in certain ethnic groups, such as American Indians and Native Alaskans. People with drinking issues are more likely to come from an alcoholic family or hang out with heavy drinkers. Finally, since Alcohol is often used to self-medicate, people with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder are especially vulnerable.
While not all alcoholics go on to become full-fledged alcoholics, it is a major risk factor. When a traumatic change occurs, such as a divorce, retirement, or another loss, alcoholism may grow quickly. Sometimes, as your tolerance of Alcohol grows, it sneaks up on you i.e alcohol abuse. The chances of developing alcoholism are higher whether you binge drink or drink every day.
You’ve already taken the first step by admitting you have a drinking problem. To confront substance dependence and alcoholism head-on requires great strength and courage. The second step is to seek assistance.
Aid is important when you want to go to rehab, depend on self-help services, seek counseling, or pursue a self-directed treatment approach. When you have someone to rely on for support, warmth, and direction, recovering from alcoholism is much easier. When the going gets rough, it’s easy to slip back into old habits without help.
Continued mental health care, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and making informed choices while dealing with life’s problems are all important for your long-term recovery. You’ll need to address the root issues that contributed to your dependence or substance addiction in the first place if you want to remain alcohol-free in the long run.
Depression, an inability to handle stress, and unresolved childhood trauma, or any number of mental health issues may be among them. When you stop Alcohol abuse to mask your issues, they can become more visible. However, you would be in a better place to discuss them and seek the assistance you need.
Admitting a loved one has an alcohol abuse issue can be difficult for the whole family, not just the person who is drinking. But don’t be embarrassed. You’re not the only one who feels this way. Both you and your loved one will benefit from assistance and encouragement.
Begin by having a frank and open conversation with the friend or family member who is abusing Alcohol. But keep in mind that you can’t make anyone give up Alcohol. It is up to them to make the decision.
Joining a group, a free peer support group for families dealing with alcoholism, can also be beneficial. Listening to those who are dealing with similar issues can be a great source of consolation and support.
If you can’t drink due to a medical condition, a glass of wine or beer now and then for social purposes won’t hurt. You have a more serious problem if you do Alcohol abuse to get through the day, or if it creates problems in your relationships, at work, in your social life, or in how you think and feel.
Both alcoholism and depression are severe problems that must not be ignored. If you think you have a problem with either, talk to your doctor or a psychologist. There are several depression treatment services available and medications that reduce alcohol abuse and the need to consume excessive amounts of Alcohol. The doctor will most likely treat both conditions at the same time. Alcoholics Anonymous or an alcohol abuse treatment center in your area can also help.
Alcohol as a Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal and healthy response to a variety of conditions.Anxiety that becomes unbearable or interferes with daily life, on the other hand, is rare and may indicate an anxiety disorder like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
One of the most common causes of alcoholism is anxiety, which is exacerbated by people’s belief that Alcohol abuse will make them feel better. According to research, Alcohol abuse induces brain changes that make us more vulnerable to anxious thoughts, which may worsen anxiety. Many people who use Alcohol to mask their anxiety are nervous or scared all of the time, almost without reason.
Call right now to meet with a rehab coordinator about your loved one’s alcohol abuse issues.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.