The long-term effects of too much alcohol have long been studied, with alcohol awareness groups aiming to education people on the serious damage that drinking too much can do to their health and physical wellness. What is not widely known, however, is the harm that alcohol can do to your mental health, as well as your physical wellbeing.
As New Year is often a good time to focus on changing habits, Gloucestershire NHS is highlighting the damage that drinking can do to your mental health. This is thought to be in part because people who have existing mental health conditions use alcohol as a crutch to help them overcome them. It seems that alcohol is often used to mask underlying psychological problems, but of course the addictive nature of alcohol then causes that to be another serious health concern.
If you feel that your drinking is getting out of hand, particularly if you are drinking for certain purposes (such as to overcome depression), then the first port of call should be to contact your GP. They can then refer you on to a specialist service which will provide the information and support you need, both to tackle the drinking and to deal the any mental health problems in a more useful way.
Alcohol is often used to help with stress, depression or anxiety, but those who drink for this reason do not realise that alcohol itself is a depressant, and that drinking in excess can actually worsen their problems rather than improve them.
Whilst drinking within the recommended guidelines is thought to be safe for those who are in good general health with no liver problems, even moderate drinking can have a negative effect on people who have underlying health conditions, including mental health conditions.