Alcohol and Mental Health

Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause mental health problems. Alcohol is a depressant, what it means, is that, it slows the activities of the brain by acting on the brain chemicals. 

Our brains have chemicals which send information to and from the nerve cells, they are called  neurotransmitters, these chemicals have to be kept at a balance. Alcohol, when taken, gets to the blood stream which eventually gets to the brain where it affects how we feel, think and behave. It achieves this by disrupting  the chemical balance  which results in impaired judgement, aggressive behavior, increased anxiety and stress, hence putting one at a higher risk of developing mental disorder or even trigger an underlying mental disorder.

At least 30-50% of people using alcohol and other drugs suffer from a mental disorder. Alcohol use can sometimes occur together with other disorders.

 People suffering from mental disorders are also most likely to use alcohol to lessen or manage the distress that comes with the illness this stems from the ability of alcohol to alter the brains chemistry. However, with the periodic relief of the symptoms, the mental disorder worsens 

Excessive consumption of alcohol or cessation of alcohol use after prolonged period of using can produce symptoms that mimic mental disorders such as mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, psychosis and personality disorders.

By: Gertrude Nanzala

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