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In small to moderate amounts, alcohol can temporarily lift your spirits and help improve your mood. The more you drink, however, the more likely your emotional state will begin plummeting back down. Sometimes, alcohol can make you feel even worse than you did before.
Alcohol affects people in different ways. Some people never notice feelings of depression — or any negative effects at all — after drinking moderately. Others might begin feeling depressed or anxious after just one drink. Understanding the link between alcohol and depression can help you better manage depression after drinking, or better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place. While alcohol use can directly trigger feelings of depression, it can also contribute to symptoms in more indirect ways. You might feel depressed after drinking because alcohol itself is a depressant.
Drinking activates the reward system in your brain and triggers dopamine release, so alcohol often seems to have a stimulating effect — at first. Dopamine produces positive emotions that make you feel good and help reinforce your desire to drink, but alcohol affects your central nervous system in other ways, too. Namely, it interferes with the release of neurotransmitters linked to mood regulation, including serotonin and norepinephrine.
Lower-than-normal levels of these important chemical messengers can temporarily affect your speech, coordination, and energy. The Post hangover depression impact, however, can be more serious: Persistent changes in brain chemistry can factor into depression and anxiety over time. Research has linked the development of depression symptoms in adolescents to regular or heavy alcohol use. Adults who met criteria for alcohol use disorders also had a higher risk for depression.
To sum up: Even though it seems to improve your mood in the moment, alcohol can actually bring you down, especially with long-term use. Ever had a night of bad sleep after drinking? Maybe you tossed and turned, had bizarre dreams, or woke up with your heart racing. These unpleasant experiences are all pretty normal.
Troubled sleep can relate to the changes in brain chemistry associated with alcohol use. Drinking can also interfere with your sleep-wake cycle and keep you from getting enough REM sleep. Bad sleep can easily affect your mood the next day, since exhaustion and lingering physical symptoms can make it tough to concentrate. This can leave you feeling pretty Post hangover depression. A low mood after a night of drinking can feel pretty awful. If you already have depression, you might feel even worse, since alcohol can magnify the intensity of your emotions.
Alcohol can affect the areas of your brain that help regulate emotions. This can lead to a tricky cycle. You might begin drinking more regularly in order to feel better or forget about those unwanted emotions and memories. When you regularly turn to alcohol to manage challenges and negative feelings, you may not take other actions that could help you address those problems effectively.
If you tend to rely on alcohol to ease anxiety in social situationsfor example, you might never address the underlying causes of your discomfort. And those lowered inhibitions mentioned above? This, combined with heightened mood states, can have some unpleasant effects. Increased anger might lead you to pick a fight with a loved one, for example, while extreme sadness or self-loathing could lead to intense depression symptoms. Here are a few strategies to help you lift your spirits in the moment.
It often feels very tempting and easy to keep drinking until you feel better, especially when you have less access than usual to more helpful coping methods. Try not to blame yourself for your current mood.
Instead, remind yourself you can do Post hangover depression differently next time. Then, try distracting yourself to help take your mind off how you feel. Drinking water may not Post hangover depression a direct impact on feelings of depression, but rehydrating can absolutely help you start feeling better physically. As hangover symptoms begin to subside, the emotional effects may follow.
Spending time in nature can also have health benefits, including improving your mood. Taking some time for productive relaxation can also help ease feelings of depression. Talking to someone you care about can also help counter feelings associated with hangover-induced anxiety and depression after drinking. Consider calling up a friend or taking a walk with your partner.
The only certain way to prevent depression after drinking is to avoid alcohol entirely. You can, however, take steps to lower your chances of emotional side effects when drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholismmoderate drinking means one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
But regularly drinking more alcohol than these guidelines recommend can pose a of health risks, including depression. By following safe drinking guidelines, you can help reduce your risk for depression as well as other hangover symptoms. If you begin to notice any unwanted side effects — physical or emotional — while drinking, it may be best to call it a night.
A glass of water and a light snack can help you avoid a bad hangover. It can also help to unwind with a warm bath, soft music, and other soothing or calming activities before putting yourself to bed. Taking action to manage negative emotions as you experience them can help keep them from getting too overwhelming. When other factors beyond alcohol play into your mood, however, feelings of depression might persist even after your hangover improves.
It can get worse over time, especially when combined with regular or heavy alcohol use. Alcohol use can sometimes complicate depression treatment. If you drink regularly to manage depression symptoms, it may have be beneficial to work with a therapist who specializes in treating co-occurring depression and alcohol use. Your primary care provider can refer you to a therapist, but you can also try directories, such as this one through Psychology Today.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also offers confidential, free guidance on seeking treatment. Call any time, any day of the year. Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor Post hangover depression GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. Hangovers are a common side effect of alcohol consumption, but luckily, there are ways to lessen their severity. Here are 6 science-backed hangover….
Alcohol is a sedative and a depressant that affects the central nervous system. Drinking can help you relax, but it can also make you feel anxious. Learn how long alcohol can be detected in your system, and how long the effects from alcohol may last.
Don't face mental health challenges alone. Instead, learn how to get the support you need to thrive. Experts say some people can benefit from staying on antidepressants, although not everyone needs to keep using these medications. Explaining depression can be challenging. Here are a psychologist's tips for choosing words and finding allies to help. Catatonia is a mental health syndrome often connected to depression, but what is it? And how is it treated?
Social anxiety and depression can and often do occur together. Read on for the reasons why, as well as how to manage your symptoms. There are many types of depression. They share some symptoms but affect people differently. Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect. Medically reviewed by Timothy J.
Legg, Ph. Why it happens. How to deal with it. How to keep it from happening. When it might be something more. The bottom line. Read this next. Recognizing Forms of Self-Medication. Alcohol and Anxiety. Mental Health Resources. Stopping Antidepressants Too Early Can Increase the Risk of Relapse Experts say some people can benefit from staying on antidepressants, although not everyone needs to keep using these medications.
What Is Catatonia? Medically reviewed by Vara Saripalli, Psy. Types of Depression and How to Recognize Them. Medically reviewed by Karin Gepp, PsyD.Post hangover depression
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