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Emotional Effects of Alcohol Use

man getting emotional while using alcohol

Alcohol addiction is by far the most prevalent type of substance use disorder. Millions. of adults in the United States are diagnosed with alcoholism yearly. Such an addiction can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life. Alcohol’s effect on emotions can have dire consequences.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol use, our alcohol addiction treatment or dual diagnosis treatment center can help. Call Vertava Health at 888.601.8693 today for more information about our treatment options.

Alcohol’s Effect on Emotions

The emotional effects of alcohol use will vary from person to person. How much a person drinks, how long they have used alcohol, and the frequency they drink will all impact the side effects experienced.

The most common emotional effects of alcohol use include:

  • Depression — Alcohol is a depressant that lowers activity in the central nervous system (CNS). Alcohol use can cause or worsen feelings of depression. A person who has severe depression and uses alcohol is also at an increased risk of suicide.
  • Irritability — Abusing alcohol can increase feelings of irritability. This is especially true if a person cannot obtain alcohol or cannot drink as much as they want.
  • Anxiety — Alcohol use can cause anxiety or worsen an existing anxiety disorder. This is especially true in older adults.
  • Social Withdrawal — Someone who uses alcohol may begin to drink in isolation or avoid situations where they cannot drink excessively. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and loss of interest in activities.
  • People with existing mental health conditions are at an increased risk of experiencing the adverse emotional effects of alcohol use. Abusing alcohol can also worsen mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder.

How Alcohol Use Impacts Other Peoples’ Emotions

Alcohol use doesn’t only impact the person using it. People who are regularly around the person abusing alcohol can also be significantly affected by their behaviors and alcohol consumption.

Close friends and family are often the most affected by a loved one’s alcohol use. Addiction can negatively impact a person’s relationships and the emotions of their loved ones.

When someone is intoxicated, their behavior is often irrational and unreliable. This can cause the person’s loved ones to avoid them and to live in a constant state of fear and instability. Continued alcohol use can worsen the individual’s emotional impact on their loved ones.

People who live with someone who uses or is addicted to alcohol are much more likely to experience severe emotional pain. This can play out in the following ways:

  • Anxiety — People who live with an alcoholic often feel anxious about the person’s drinking. They may worry about their loved one’s safety or about what will happen when the person is drinking.
  • Depression — People who live with an alcoholic are at an increased risk of developing depression. This is especially true if the person feels like they cannot leave the situation or does not have a support system.
  • Anger — It is common for people who live with an alcoholic to feel anger and resentment. This is often directed at the person using alcohol and the situation.
  • Codependency — People who live with an alcoholic may develop codependent behaviors. This means they begin to feel like they need to take care of the person using alcohol and enable their drinking.

Get Help For Alcohol Use at Vertava Health

The emotional effects of alcohol use are just a few of the many ways addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s life. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol use or addiction, seeking treatment is the best way to overcome emotional problems and reclaim life in sobriety. Contact Vertava Health through our online form or by calling us at 888.601.8693 today.