Mental Effects of Alcohol
Alcoholism is a disease that impacts the lives of millions. When considering the impacts of an alcohol use disorder (AUD), however, most people think solely about the physical damages. In reality, the mental effects of alcohol are equally problematic.
Alcohol affects the brain during the intoxication phase. Continued and excessive consumption will consequently lead to a wide range of mental effects that will impact your quality and quantity of life.
The Short-Term Mental Effects Of Alcohol
Alcohol hits the central nervous system even after one drink. However, most people only notice minor mental and physical impairments during the first few drinks. Once you start to drink excessively, either in one sitting or by drinking too frequently, the impacts are more noticeable.
Some of the most common short-term mental effects of alcohol are:
- Anxiety, paranoia, and depression.
- Irritability, anger, and a lack of self-control.
- Struggles to remain conscious.
- Respiratory issues, heart rate issues, and seizures.
- Confusion and short-term memory issues.
In severe, alcohol poisoning can lead to death while the mental effects can lead to poor decisions and impaired skills. Drunk-driving crashes, for example, cause 28 deaths per day. Accidents, suicides, and fighting can all occur too.
Even if you remove injuries and death from the equation, the short-term mental effects of alcohol can also put a strain on relationships or cause you to feel regret when you remember those issues the following day. When gripped with alcoholism, the desire to forget those moments will lead you back to drink.
The Long-Term Mental Effects Of Alcohol
The effects of alcohol are far greater when you are exposed to long-term alcohol abuse. Whether drinking daily or having binges that you cannot control, it’s likely that your relationship with booze will lead to problems. Long-term drinkers are six times more likely than non-drinkers to suffer from the hippocampus. This is brain shrinkage.
Mental effects can include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive decline and increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Clinical depression and anxiety disorders.
- Mental confusion, eye movement disturbances, and “wet brain”.
- Lost confidence due to the physical impacts of alcohol.
- An AUD, in which it becomes functional without alcohol.
When you are diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder, you must seek alcohol treatment right away. There are a wide range of symptoms that you will be checked for, including tolerance levels and your habits around and without alcohol.
The longer you spend addicted to alcohol, the worse the problems become. The organs, including your brain, will experience more damage while the associated mental issues become more common too. Thankfully, sobriety can reverse a large percentage of the damage.
Dual Diagnosis And Alcohol Rehab
If alcohol has started to take a toll on your life, it’s important to take control of the situation immediately, especially if you currently feel unable to resist the temptation to drink.
There are many different alcohol treatment options to consider. When you experience mental health issues as a part of your experiences of alcohol, it is necessary to test for the presence of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. A dual diagnosis will enable you to seek mental health treatments and alcohol rehab to combat co-occurring conditions.
Call our compassionate and caring team to learn more today.
Alcohol use disorders need treating as soon as they are identified. If you’re worried about your drinking habit or a loved one’s potentially damaging relationship with alcohol, now is the time to regain control of the situation.
Contact Peaks Recovery to discover your options today!