You likely know the short-term effects of alcohol, like stumbling and slurred speech. Long-term effects can be much more dangerous and include the development of brain disorders or severe health problems. But did you know that the psychological effects of alcohol can be just as dangerous?
Alcohol is a Depressant
For many, this is news. Because a little alcohol tends to make someone talkative and lowers their inhibitions, people often think of it as a stimulant. Instead, it’s a depressant that acts on the central nervous system. In doing so, it directly affects mood and overall sense of well-being.
The more you drink, and the more often you do so, the more pronounced the depressive psychological effects of alcohol become. For starters, your sleeping habits may change. You’ll wake up earlier and have a difficult time getting back to sleep. The lack of rest then alters your mood.
You become anxious and become easily frustrated with people and situations that you’d just shrug off before. You may even experience bouts of depression that you try to get rid of with more drinks. Before long, you’re in a vicious cycle of frustration, anger, anxiety, bad moods, and more alcohol to make it go away.
The image of the happy drunk is an illusion. It masks a need for love and acceptance. When the inebriation wears off, there are tears of depression and rejection. Many people suffering from an alcohol use disorder commit suicide.
Overcoming the Psychological Effects of Alcohol
There’s only one way to end the effect that alcohol has on your life: stop drinking. Doing so typically requires professional intervention. An alcohol use disorder is a disease that calls for medical assistance. Modalities can include:
- Alcohol detox to get the chemicals out of your system and break the physiological addiction to the substance
- One-on-one talk therapy to uncover the reasons for the addiction
- Men and women’s group therapy sessions that provide you with learning opportunities alongside peers in recovery
- Family therapy that brings in loved ones to rebuild trust, open lines of communication, and mend relationships
- Sober living, which opens the door to reintegration into a family, home life, or workplace
A good-quality sober living program is a fundamental aspect of recovery. It provides you with a hands-on opportunity to try out your coping skills in a safe setting. Counselors and peers in recovery offer a relapse prevention support network. These facilities also ensure that you ease back into your former life rather than making an abrupt change.
The gradual move from an inpatient treatment setting to a sober living facility makes sense. If you’ve previously struggled with anxiety or depression, the incremental change won’t upset you. It also won’t trigger relapses, which a more sudden reintegration might cause.
Find Help for the Damage Alcohol is Doing to Your Life
You don’t have to remain caught in the vicious cycle of an alcohol addiction. The Hills Treatment Center wants to help. Compassionate therapists routinely work with people just like you to overcome alcohol use disorders. Call 866-323-4665 now for immediate assistance.