Alcohol affects the body and mind in many ways. One of the most confusing aspects for many when they consider the negative effects of alcohol is its categorization as a depressant. Many people struggle to understand this because they conflate the term with the mental health condition. Simply put, alcohol depresses or relaxes certain physical aspects of one’s body, like breathing. Alcohol does not directly cause or trigger a mental health condition called depression or any other depressive disorder. However, continued alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction greatly increase the risk of developing a depressive disorder. Thus, to understand why the answer to “Is alcohol a depressant?” is yes, you must understand how alcohol affects the brain. Santé Center for Healing can help individuals understand just how alcohol affects both the body and the mind. We offer comprehensive care to treat alcohol addiction and other substance use disorders.
Is Alcohol A Depressant? Booze and the Brain
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the body’s natural processes. This means that the body’s vital functions, such as breathing and heart rate, change pace when alcohol is present. Alcohol also can lift the mind’s inhibitions, making people feel more able to speak their minds and creating a false sense of confidence.
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.
The issues associated with alcohol withdrawal (also known as a hangover), such as increased heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, and headaches, can increase anxiety and depression. Feeling down due to alcohol withdrawal can create cravings for more alcohol to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This can quickly spiral into addiction. When this occurs, individuals need dual diagnosis treatment designed to address addiction and mental health issues. At Santé Center for Healing, we offer a dual diagnosis program & treatment for the following mental health conditions:
- Acute stress disorder treatment
- ADHD treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment
- Depression treatment
- OCD treatment
- PTSD treatment
Struggling With Alcohol Use? Santé Center For Healing 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, alcohol addiction will cause your life to become out of your control. You may have already noticed that you have cravings for more alcohol after you begin to feel alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you’re ready to start the journey to recovery, Santé Center For Healing is here to help you get started. We understand the complications of addiction. Our counselors are here to work with you, helping you understand the factors that led you to addiction in the first place.
We offer several different types of therapy at Santé Center For Healing, including:
When you choose to seek treatment at Santé Center For Healing, we’ll be with you for the long haul. You’ll never have to go it alone. We’ll set you up with the skills and strategies you need to stay sober in your daily life. We understand that it takes trust and a leap of faith to enter treatment, and it’s important to us that we don’t let you down.
Call Santé Center For Healing
Now that you know the answer to, “Is alcohol a depressant?” you may also know that it’s time to ask for help with your drinking. If you’re unhappy with the effect that alcohol has had on your emotions, your moods, and your relationships, there is help available. You don’t have to find your way to recovery on your own. At Santé Center For Healing, we’re here to help you break down the factors that led you to this place in your life. Recovery is possible. Pick up the phone and let us help you get there at 866.238.3154.