The Psychological Effects of Drinking Alcohol
Many people believe alcohol is a stimulant and is a ‘social lubricant’. A good way of relaxing and freeing yourself from shyness and being more able to socially communicate and interact with new potential friends or romantic partners.
However, as we have already seen, alcohol is both a poison and a drug. In this section we will learn how it affects you emotionally and socially, causing you to become dependent and reliant on its effects.
Unless you deal with the underlying causes of your emotional and social impairment e.g. low self-esteem, a stressful job, feeling of social awkwardness, and anxiety in social situations, you will have an additional problem to deal with, i.e. its serious consequences rather than just the issue at hand. And it can also exacerbate these negative emotional feelings and magnify them.
So, if you are in a good emotional state and then drink you are more likely to be able to moderate your drinking. If you are using alcohol to change your emotional state then excess is a likely possibility as well as frequently drinking in order to get back to the change in emotional state.
The most recognized form of emotional effect of drinking is the reduction of inhibitions you feel. This is because of its role as a depressant. This means that alcohol starts to change how you act and speak, and it is these behaviors that cause problems for you emotionally and socially.
Drunk people can put both themselves and others in danger through aggressive or inappropriate behavior. The lack of awareness can put drunk people in danger of physical and sexual violence. In the US, UK and Canada, researchers found that most domestic violence incidents (spouse and child abuse) occur when the perpetrator has been drinking excessively.
It also affects chemical balances within the brain. Such as the production of serotonin, which regulates moods. So depressive feelings, insomnia, and a loss of concentration can be the results.
It interferes with the balance of chemicals in the brain. It lowers the production of serotonin, which regulates to mood – this leads to mild symptoms of depression, including insomnia, sluggishness, anxiety and loss of concentration.
Magnifying Your Existing Emotions
Alcohol is like a magnifier. If you are depressed, it will make you more depressed. The same goes for angry people who can become angrier and more violent.
Psychological Impacts of Drinking
There are also other likely problems that result from it:
- Cravings can develop as you rely on it for mood change and also to divert attention away from life problems
- Psychiatric issues e.g. clinical depression, dementia, and/or anxiety and impulse control disorders, negative thoughts and patterns can be developed and exacerbated by reliance on it
- Distorted sense of judgement
- Anti-social behavior and negative social relationships can be its consequence
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