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Three Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

Three Things to Know About Alcohol Intoxication and Mood Disorders

Anxiety and depression are side effects of heavy drinking

For centuries, humans have used alcohol to relax and unwind. Some people use alcohol as a way to ease tension or to handle social situations. Though it may be safe in controlled, small amounts, a person who is easily susceptible to addiction should avoid consumption completely because of the way it can affect the brain. Alcohol abuse and mental health issues often co-exist because of the effect that alcohol has on our brain. Alcohol can trigger certain receptors in the brain that lead to addiction, and it can also lead to other stressful situations that lead to more drinking over time. Des Moines families should consider how these two disorders, alcoholism and mood disorder, can affect their communities and how to help if symptoms of such a problem develop.

Alcoholism and Mood Disorders

Mood is an emotional state and it can either be comfortable or uncomfortable. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder (manic depression) and depression are caused, not because of any flaw in the individual, but simply because of an imbalance in the brain’s chemical activity. However, alcohol can alter this brain activity and make these disorders more severe.

When alcohol abuse and mental health disorders coexist, it is known as a dual disorder. Alcohol can not only worsen the symptoms of mood disorders but it can also prolong recovery by interfering with mood disorder medications. Given below are three important aspects of this relationship that Des Moines residents should know:

  1. Mood disorders or mood swings caused by alcoholism often repeats in patterns. Early on when the person starts drinking, it creates a feeling of mild euphoria. Alcohol impairs the part of the brain controlling behavior and emotion and initially drinking will make the individual feel very relaxed and mildly euphoric. However, as drinking increases, emotional outbursts become severe. After years of drinking, permanent changes to mood and brain can also take place.
  2. Mood disorders do not go away with alcohol addiction help alone. People who do not drink can still be depressed; alcohol only makes things worse because of the withdrawal symptoms and unfortunate situations it creates. When a heavy drinker stops drinking suddenly, anxiety and depression are the two most common side effects they experience. Mood changes are a type of withdrawal symptom of alcohol. In some cases, these mood changes will disappear within a few weeks. However, in cases in which people have been drinking for a long time may take two to four years for these mood changes to completely disappear.
  3. Alcohol can impair judgment seriously. An individual that already has a depressive disorder should avoid drinking excessive alcohol because it increases the chances of suicide. When an individual is intoxicated, their depression worsens. Even the smallest problems seem insurmountable to them and they might commit suicide under the influence of alcohol.

If you or loved one in Des Moines have been suffering from alcohol and mood disorders, you need immediate professional help. Call our 24 hour toll free number today for mood disorder help.