Home Health Beyond the Hangover: The Mental Effects of Alcohol

Beyond the Hangover: The Mental Effects of Alcohol


While drinking can be fun, excessive drinking can cause turmoil for your mental health. Here are the mental effects of alcohol and how to stop drinking.

More than 15 million people struggle with alcohol use disorder in the U.S. To make matters worse, only 8% of these people receive proper treatment.

You might think that vomiting, nausea, and headaches are the worst effects of drinking alcohol. Well, you’re wrong! The effects of alcohol go beyond the hangover.

While it’s true that alcohol can help you socialize at a party, excessive drinking can cause turmoil for your mental health. Here are five mental effects of alcohol and how to stop drinking:

  1. Memory Impairment

Excessive drinking makes your brain to process information slower as well as stops the brain from recollecting memories. This impairs the general intellectual functioning of the brain.

This is why most people wake up the next day after drinking hardly remembering the activities that transpired the previous night.

  1. Brain Disorders

Wet brain, scientifically known as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS), is a brain disorder that affects up to 90% of chronic alcohol users. This condition occurs when the excess alcohol in your body interferes with your body’s ability to absorb and convert thiamine. The end result is a deficiency of Vitamin B1 in the brain.

Lack of Vitamin B1 can make you hallucinate, have vision impairments, and lose muscle coordination. If untreated, this brain disorder can lead to permanent brain damage.

  1. Shrinks the Brain

Excessive drinking causes faster brain aging. In fact, taking as little as four drinks in a span of two hours lowers the volume of gray matter in the brain. This is the part of the brain that houses nerve-cell-rich brain tissues.

A lower volume of the gray matter means fewer nerve fibers that transmit signals to the brain. This may result in severe memory problems.

  1. Depression and Anxiety

Being an alcoholic can lead you into depression and/or anxiety since excess alcohol imbalances your body’s hormones and feelings. Though excessive drinking will suppress negative feelings, its effects don’t last forever.

Many consider committing suicide or crime when they feel like the alcohol isn’t working anymore. This happens their bodies build up the tolerance for alcohol. If you find yourself depressed and thinking of committing self-harm, look for help at an alcohol treatment facility near you.

  1. Anti-Social Behaviors

Chronic users of alcohol often find themselves alone because they tend to be aggressive and impulsive in social environments. If you’re anti-social and drink excessive amounts of alcohol, you might find it hard to cope with others because of the stress, anger, and shame.

Get Help for These Mental Effects of Alcohol

If you’re suffering from any of the above mental effects of alcohol, it’s recommended to find help as soon as possible. Talk to your friends and family, remove all alcoholic temptations in life, and find a hobby to keep you busy. Don’t forget to live a healthy life.

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