Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol

It’s fairly common for people to turn to alcohol when they’re struggling to deal with their emotions and experiences. For a short time, and in moderation, alcohol can help lift your spirits and improve your mood.
Yet, the more alcohol you consume, the more probable it is that your mood will continue to deteriorate again. In some cases, drinking alcohol can actually make you feel worse.
People react differently to alcohol. Moderate alcohol use may not have any harmful consequences at all for some people, while others may experience increased depression. For some people, even one drink is enough to trigger feelings of depression or anxiety. There are many reasons you may feel depressed after drinking alcohol, these are some of them.

Why alcohol is actually making you depressed

Depression can be triggered by alcohol consumption, and alcohol usage can also contribute to depressive symptoms in other ways. South Africa is home to a burgeoning population of recovering addicts, counsellors, and specialists, making it an excellent setting for drug rehabilitation centresGet in touch with us for more information on our South Africa treatment centre.

Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol
Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol
Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol is actually a depressant

As alcohol is a depressant, drinking can actually make you feel worse. In the short-term, the intoxicating effects of alcohol are often misunderstood because it stimulates the brain’s reward system and causes a surge of dopamine. Dopamine is released when you drink, making you feel good and reinforcing your urge to drink. Yet alcohol also has additional effects on your central nervous system. To be more specific, it blocks the action of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, which play a role in maintaining a balanced emotional state.

The temporary impairment of speech, coordination, and energy that can result from depleted levels of these crucial chemical messengers is well-documented.
The onset of depressive symptoms in adolescents has been linked to chronic or excessive alcohol use. Those who met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders in adults also had an increased likelihood of suffering from major depressive episodes.
To sum up, alcohol may temporarily lift your spirits, but it has the opposite effect over time.

Alcohol is highly sleep-disruptive

Have you ever drunk too much and had a terrible night’s sleep? Perhaps you tossed and turned, experienced vivid nightmares, or awoke to a beating heart.
All of these negative events are rather common. Changes in brain chemistry caused by alcohol usage have been linked to disturbed sleep. The sleep-wake cycle is disrupted by alcohol consumption, and REM sleep is reduced as a result.
Remember that there are physical repercussions to drinking as well, like the inability to sleep because of hangover symptoms like nausea and dehydration.
Because fatigue and other physical symptoms might make it hard to focus during the day, a poor night’s sleep can have a significant impact on your disposition the following day. As a result, you may feel depressed.

Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol
Why You Feel Depressed After Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can make your negative feelings worse

After a night of drinking, it’s normal to feel down. Alcohol can heighten the intensity of your feelings, which may make a depressive state even more intolerable. A person’s ability to control their emotions may be impaired by alcohol. You may start drinking to relax and forget your problems, but when the effects wear off, you may find yourself dwelling on your issues even more. Since alcohol impairs judgement, it limits the ability to find workable answers to issues. And because it decreases inhibitions, it can make it harder to hold back negative feelings like grief or anger that you may have been attempting to suppress.

This can create a difficult feedback loop. As a means of self-medicating or numbing yourself from painful thoughts and feelings, you might take up drinking more frequently.
An increase in alcohol consumption, on the other hand, rarely helps. In addition to harming one’s physical health, it is more likely to exacerbate difficult emotional problems.

How drinking and depression can form a pattern

If you consistently use alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress and negative emotions, you may be less likely to adopt measures that might help you deal with the underlying causes of those experiences.
Hence, it’s possible that your problems, whether they’re related to job or your personal life, will only worsen.
If you often use alcohol to cope with social anxiety, for example, you may never get to the bottom of what’s making you uncomfortable in the first place.
Remember how we said our inhibitions were lowered? They may cause you to act in ways you would have avoided otherwise. When paired with elevated emotional states, this can have undesirable consequences.
Anger might cause you to fight with someone you care about, while melancholy and self-hatred can cause you to feel depressed.
Without therapy, depression seldom gets better. If you combine this with chronic or heavy alcohol consumption, the effects may become increasingly severe over time.
Depression treatment might be made more difficult by alcohol consumption. Working with a therapist who focuses on treating depression and alcohol use simultaneously may be helpful if you use alcohol as a coping mechanism for depression.

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