August 6, 2008
Alcohol and Depression
Alcohol 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.