Alcohol affects people in several ways and one of the most common misconceptions for many is when classifying alcohol as a depressant. Yes, there are physical effects that take place, such as breathing and even moods, but alcohol has nothing to do with mental illness or depression. Continued abuse of alcohol greatly increases the risk for developing a depressive disorder. To get a better understanding of why this may be true, it’s important to understand how alcohol affects the brain. Sanctum wellness and healing can help you get the care you need if you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism or other substance use disorders.
Is Alcohol a Depressant? Booze and the Brain
Alcohol is classified as a depressant, so its consumption causes the body to slow down as it processes alcohol. Some of these effects include slower breathing and heart rate as well as brain activity. Alcohol consumption also lifts the mind’s inhibitions and encourages those under its influence to express themselves more freely or let themselves go after holding back on their feelings.
Alcohol’s categorization of depressants does not mean that it directly creates depression, but drinking alcohol and depression are closely related. Many people who have mental health issues drink alcohol as a way to self-medicate. At the moment, alcohol can lift feelings of anxiety and depression. People who struggle with social anxiety may find that it’s easier to engage in a conversation when they’ve had a few drinks. When the buzz of the alcohol wears off, however, anxiety and depression return even stronger than before.
Alcohol dependence has the potential to harm the drinker in a variety of ways, particularly when it develops into addiction. Alcohol affects every type of organ system in the body and can lead to dependency rapidly. The ailments associated with alcohol misuse, such as an increased heart rate, anxiety, insomnia and headaches can also cause depression. When this occurs a person is more likely to want an antidote for these symptoms which could lead them straight back into addiction again. When this happens dual diagnosis treatment may be necessary in order to treat both alcoholism and psychological issues at once. At Sanctum wellness and healing, we offer a dual diagnosis program & treatment for addictions & mental illness including addictions to - Acute stress disorder treatment, ADHD treatment, Bipolar disorder treatment, Depression treatment OCD treatment & PTSD treatments.
Struggling with Alcohol use? Sanctum can help?
If you think you may have a drinking problem, you may be wondering why you aren’t depressed. While the answer to “Is alcohol a depressant?” is yes, not everyone who has a drinking problem has depression. Over time, however, addiction and alcohol withdrawal will eventually cause your life to become totally unmanageable. You may have already noticed that after just one or two drinks you feel that the only thing that will make it better is more alcohol. If this sounds like your life right now and you want to start getting things back on track with humility and grace, we here at Sanctum Wellness truly understand all of the challenges facing addiction in today's society and we are here to help guide you through this process so that by day two in our care, your life gets even better than it is right now.
We offer several types of therapy including addiction therapy services, psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy. Addiction sufferers who choose to enter into treatment with Sanctum Wellness & Healing won’t have to go it alone. We will be there long after you’ve stopped using on a daily basis helping you learn the skills and learning techniques on how to stay sober every day. We know that it takes trust and a leap of faith to enter treatment, so it’s very important to us that we don’t let our patients down.
Now that you know the answer to “Is alcohol a depressant?” you may also be aware of how it has affected your emotions, moods, and relationships. Recovery support can help you. If you aren't quite sure about your reasons for getting help with alcohol abuse/dependency/addiction, take the time to understand how it has orchestrated the way that you experience thoughts, people, places or things. You don’t have to find your way through recovery alone.