August 6, 2008

Alcohol and Depression

Breath TestAlcohol is found today in many different settings. Many of our customs and events within our culture today incorporate alcohol at some level. While drinking occasionally in moderation poses very little threat, excessive drinking has increased dramatically over the last few years with drinkers not only drinking more, but starting at younger and younger ages.

What effects exactly does alcohol have on the brain? Alcohol, along with other drugs like tranquillizers act directly as depressants on the brain. Since these drugs slow the brain down, they are needed in higher levels to produce the same results.

In essence, the brain builds a tolerance to alcohol and alcohol effects are reduced. The cycle of alcoholism begins as the individual is forced to drink more to get to original effects alcohol once had on their mind and body and the need for alcohol only grows.

Alcohol can also cause;-

1) Dementia ? In which we loose our memory, similar to Alzheimer’s dementia.

2) Psychosis – You can begin to hear voices as you lose contact with reality.

3) Dependence ? At this point quitting alcohol has both physical and mental withdrawal symptoms occur from sweating and shaking to nervousness and even hallucinating.

4) Suicide – About 40% of men who have attempted suicide have had an alcohol dependency related problem at some time. Almost 70% of suicide victims were drunk at the time they ended their lives.

Most certainly there is a connection between depression and alcohol. Self destructive behaviors of both mental and physical nature are common among people who are dependent on alcohol. These behaviors range from mood swings and irresponsibility to self affliction and suicide.

Is Alcohol Worth It??

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March 2, 2008

Alcohol and Depression

Alcohol is part of our culture and is often found in most social situations. While in moderation drinking doesn’t cause many problems the number of those who drink to excess has risen dramatically. People are starting to drink at a younger age and we are drinking more.

How does alcohol affect the brain?

Alcohol is like many other drugs that act on the brain, such as tranquillizers. If we drink it regularly we find that it has less effect on us because we build up a tolerance to it. Therefore we need to drink more to get the effect we want. This is a powerful part of becoming addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol can also lead to:

  • Dementia – memory loss, rather like Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Psychosis – long- term drinkers can start to hear voices.
  • Dependence – if you stop drinking, you get withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, nervousness and (sometimes) seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Suicide – 40% of men who try to kill themselves have had a long- standing alcohol problem. – 70% of those who succeed in killing themselves have drunk alcohol before doing so.

What is the connection between depression and alcohol?

We know that there is a connection – self-harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. There is also evidence that alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain itself and that this increases the risk of depression. Another problem that arises is that regular drinking can make life depressing – family problems, poor work, unreliable memory and sexual problems.

Alcohol helps us to forget our problems for a while. It can help us to relax and overcome any shyness. It can make talking easier and more fun, whether in the pub, a club or at a party. It is a very effective way of feeling better for a few hours. If you are depressed and lacking in energy, it can be tempting to use alcohol to help you keep going and cope with life. The problem is that it is easy to slip into drinking regularly, using it like a medication.The benefits soon wear off, the drinking becomes part of a routine, and you have to keep drinking more to get the same effect.

Ideas to keep your teen from drinking

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May 23, 2007

Alcohol and Depression

More than 9 out of 10 people in the United Kingdom drink alcohol. It is part of our culture and we feel comfortable with it. Moderate drinking doesn’t cause many problems. However, over the last 30 years, society has become wealthier and alcohol has become cheaper. We are starting to drink at a younger age and we are drinking more. More than 1 in 4 men, and about 1 in 7 women are drinking more than is medically safe for them. According to the Department of Health, around 1 in 8 men is physically addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol is like many other drugs that act on the brain, such as tranquillisers. If we drink it regularly, we find that it has less effect on us. We need to drink more and more to get the effect we want. This is called ‘tolerance’ and is a powerful part of becoming addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol can also lead to:

  • Dementia – memory loss, rather like Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Psychosis – long- term drinkers can start to hear voices.
  • Dependence – if you stop drinking, you get withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, nervousness and (sometimes) seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Suicide – 40% of men who try to kill themselves have had a long- standing alcohol problem. – 70% of those who succeed in killing themselves have drunk alcohol before doing so.

What is the connection between depression and alcohol?

We know that there is a connection – self-harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. It seems that it can work in two ways.

  • If we drink too much, too regularly, we are more likely to become depressed.

Regular drinking can leave us tired and depressed. There is evidence that alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain itself and that this increases the risk of depression.

Hangovers create a cycle of waking up feeling ill, anxious, jittery and guilty.

Regular drinking can make life depressing – family arguments, poor work, unreliable memory and sexual problems.

  • If we drink alcohol to relieve anxiety or depression, we will become more depressed

Alcohol helps us to forget our problems for a while. It can help us to relax and overcome any shyness. It can make talking easier and more fun, whether in the pub, a club or at a party. It is a very effective way of feeling better for a few hours.

If you are depressed and lacking in energy, it can be tempting to use alcohol to help you keep going and cope with life. The problem is that it is easy to slip into drinking regularly, using it like a medication.The benefits soon wear off, the drinking becomes part of a routine, and you have to keep drinking more to get the same effect.

You can get this information and more like it at The Royal College of Psychologists.

A Society of Alcoholism

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