Alcohol awareness – alcohol and mental health
Forward Leeds is encouraging people to test their knowledge of alcohol and mental health.
We have created a short quiz to encourage people to think about mental health and drinking
You may feel that drinking helps you relax and be more sociable. That it helps you to unwind and connect with other people. But alcohol can have negative effects on mental health as well both in the short and long term.
You may feel less stressed after a drink or two but the beneficial effects don’t last long. Drinking interferes with the processes and chemicals in your brain that are important for good mental health.
As the immediate feeling of relaxation after drinking fades over time, you may feel worse than before. Post-drinking hangovers can be particularly difficult, with the usual headache and nausea being accompanied by feelings of depression and/or anxiety.
The negative impacts of drinking over a long period of time can lead to poor mental health. Your brain chemicals will make a longer-term change meaning low mood and anxiety as an ever-present state without the alcohol that takes away those feelings of anxiety.
Some people can use alcohol as a coping mechanism to try and help manage stress, anxiety and depression.
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK in any year.
Depression and heavy drinking have a mutually reinforcing relationship – meaning that either condition increases a person’s chances of experiencing the other.
For that reason, managing your alcohol intake is one way of reducing your risk of developing depression. If you do experience depression, reducing the amount you drink may help to manage symptoms.