By E2E Team ©
When feeling down what is your immediate response? Most will say “I need a drink”. We have been there numerous times.
Now ask how do you feel after drinking? Not great I expect. Headaches, hangover, the smell of last nights dinner on your clothes.
Not so fun now is it?
Alcohol is seen as a coping mechanism, drinking to help with our depression, stress, anxiety and other feelings we may have. Yes, the initial euphoria is great, but it is short lived. Not only will you suffer these short term effects, it’s does nothing for your mood and has long term effects that will cause problems for the rest of your life.
Alcohol is classed as a central nervous depressant
Alcohol affects your mood and behaviour
It Impairs judgement, alertness and awareness
Almost 1/3 of people who have depression also suffer a alcohol problem
Short term happiness, long term negative effects on mind and body
Alcohol damages internal organs and weakens your immune system.
Alcohol doesn’t take the pain away
Whilst intoxicated your emotions are heightened
Alcohol can cause long term physical changes to the brain. The brain is a balance of chemicals and processes. It can cause disruption in the neurotransmitter functions of the brain, causing memory loss and killing brain cells.
As alcohol is a depressant, it can disrupt our balance, thought, feelings and actions.
When experiencing certain mental health problems, having a 'drink' will initially make you feel at ease. The relaxed feeling that goes with alcohol (again a change in chemicals) will feel like it’s calming your nerves, but it wears off quickly and offers a false sense of security.
People react differently to alcohol. Some will become hyperactive, others more aggressive or for some causes them to lethargic. The point is it changes your personality and makes you act in ways you usually wouldn’t. How many times have you woken up with a sore head, had flashbacks from the previous night and held your head in shame?
You may not even remember anything at all, until your mates tell you what you did. Again not being able to remember a whole night, surely loss of memory isn’t a good thing is it? The last I heard, alcohol hadn't been approved by medical professionals, however it appears people have made it the self medicating drug of choice.
It becomes a vicious circle. You feel down, you drink, you feel better for a few hours, then feel worse, so you drink again and repeat. Using alcohol as a masking agent solves nothing and you need to be careful you don’t become dependent on it. That opens a whole new world of potential pain and suffering.
We are not saying never drink alcohol; life is about balance. We are highlighting the fact that moderation is key. Go out with friends, have fun but be aware of your limit and don’t do it too often. Don’t reach for the bottle after a bad day at work, on hearing some bad news or feeling stressed. If you are feeling upset, anxious or depressed, please understand - alcohol is only going to make it worse.
Look at the alternatives to cope with the stress life puts on you. Lifestyle changes are exactly that. There are positive changes you can make with healthy long term effects for your mind and body.
Instead of alcohol
Meditation, relax the mind and become aware of your thoughts.
Exercise, release endorphins and that feel good factor.
Do something for yourself, self love is so important in your happiness
Look at your diet. You don’t have to eat perfectly, but maybe make a few changes to increase energy levels.
Spend time with people who make you feel good.
Stop worrying about the past and the future. Live in the moment.
These are just a few alternatives to help you on your journey. We want you to feel good and for you to be happy. This can only be done by making the right choices. Stop looking for an easy way out, using short term solutions - it doesn’t work.
Take some time and assess where you can alter your lifestyle for long term positive effects.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
If you feel you need support and want to discuss your concerns with professionals contact the links below. Use google, call helplines or speak to someone you trust.