Depression after drinking: causes and how to cope (2023)

It is not uncommon to useAlcoholdeal with difficult feelings and experiences.

You can have a drink or two if you like:

  • Relax after a busy day
  • stillAnguishbefore a date
  • relieve feelingslonelinessor sadness
  • take your mind off a disappointment

Emsmall to mediumamounts, alcoholit couldtemporarily elevate your mood and help improve your mood.

However, the more you drink, the more likely your emotional state will drop again. Sometimes alcohol can make you feel even worse than before.

Alcohol affects peopledifferent ways. Some people never notice depression – or any negative effects – after moderate drinking. Others may feel depressed or anxious after just one drink.

understanding ofAssociation between alcohol and depressionit can help you better deal with post-drinking depression or, better yet, prevent it in the first place.

While alcohol consumption can directly trigger feelings of depression, it can also contribute to symptoms in more indirect ways.

Alcohol has a depressant effect

You may feel depressed after drinking because alcohol itself is atranquilizers.

Drinking activates the reward system in your brain and triggers the release of dopamine, so alcohol usually seems to have a stimulant effect at first.

dopamineit produces positive emotions that make you feel good and help increase your desire to drink, but alcohol also affects the central nervous system in other ways.

That is, it interferes with the release of neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation, includingserotoninand norepinephrine.

Below normal levels of these important chemical messengers can temporarily affect your speech, coordination and energy levels.

However, the long-term effects can be more serious: Persistent changes in brain chemistry can lead to depression and anxiety over time.

To look forrelated the development of depression symptoms in adolescents to regular or heavy consumption. Adults who meet the criteria foralcohol use disordersalso had a higher risk of depression.

In summary, while it seems to improve your mood now, alcohol can really overwhelm you, especially with prolonged use.

Alcohol disrupts your sleep

Have you ever had a bad night's sleep after drinking? Perhaps you were tossing and turning, having bizarre dreams, or waking up with a racing heart.

These uncomfortable experiences are all pretty normal. Sleep disturbances may be related to changes in brain chemistry associated with alcohol consumption.

Drinking can also disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and prevent you from eating enough.REM sleep.

Don't forget: Drinking can also have physical consequences - nausea, etc.dehydrationcan prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.

Poor sleep can easily affect your mood the next day, as exhaustion and ongoing physical symptoms can affect concentration. It can make you feel very down.

Alcohol can increase negative emotions

Getting depressed after a night of drinking can be awful. If you already have depression, you may feel even worse because alcohol can heighten your emotions.

Alcohol can affect the areas of the brain that help regulate it.emotions. You can start drinking to forget what you're thinking, but once the initial rush wears off, you can wallow in those feelings.

Because alcohol can cloud your brain, it can prevent you from seeing helpful solutions to problems.

It also lowers inhibitions, so if you've experienced some difficult emotions like sadness orwhat, under lock and key, they can be flooded if you drink.

This can lead to a complicated cycle. You can start drinking more regularly to feel better or forget about them.unwanted emotionsand memories.

However, increased alcohol consumption usually does not help. Negative mood states are more likely to deteriorate along with physical health.

Coping with drinking can become a pattern

If you regularly turn to alcohol to help deal with challenges and negative feelings, you may not be taking other steps that can help you deal with these issues effectively.

As a result, whatever issues you are facing, from work stress to relationship issues, could get worse.

If you tend to rely on alcohol to relaxanxiety in social situations, for example, you may never address the underlying causes of your discomfort.

What about the aforementioned inhibitions? They can make you make decisions that you normally wouldn't. This, combined with heightened moods, can have some uncomfortable effects.

For example, increased anger can cause you to argue with a loved one, while extreme sadness or self-loathing can lead to severe symptoms of depression.

If you wake up unhappy after a night of drinking, you don't have to wait. Here are some strategies to help lift your spirits right now.

First, try not to fall into yourself

If you're already feeling a little down in the dumps, overindulging in alcohol probably isn't going to make it any better.

It often seems very tempting (and easy) to keep drinking until you feel better, especially when you have less access to more useful stuff than usual.coping methods.

Try not to blame yourself for your current mood. Instead, remember that next time you can do it differently. Then try to distract yourself from thinking about how you're feeling.

drink a lot of water

Alcohol can dehydrate you, give you headaches, and generally add to your misery.

Drinking water may not have a direct impact on feelings of depression, but it does.rehydrationcan absolutely help you feel better physically. As hangover symptoms subside, emotional effects may occur.

Even if they don't get better right away, you'll probably find it easier to do something about it if you don't have to deal with the physical symptoms as well.

go for a walk

You might be feeling a little uncomfortable physically, but as long as the room doesn't spin when you get up, try stepping outside for a while.short walk– or more, if you can get it.

a practiceit usually provides a natural mood boost, so chances are you'll feel better once you've exercised.

spend time in natureit can also have health benefits, including improving your mood. When the sun is shining, it's even better – the sun can trigger the release of serotonin, which can help alleviate depression.

do something you like

Make time to be productiveRelaxationit can also help alleviate feelings of depression.

When you're feeling down, doing a favorite activity can lift your spirits.

If you don't want to do anything too strenuous, consider the following:

  • gardening
  • easy homemade projects
  • cook or bake
  • Yoga
  • until
  • Puzzle

Even if you don't have a lot of time, spend 15 minutesread a good book, drawing or doodling, or even watching cute animal videos can provide a positive distraction.

Talking to someone you care about can also help counteract the feelings associated with it.hangover induced anxietyand depression after drinking. Consider calling a friend or taking a walk with your partner.

The only surefire way to prevent post-drinking depression is to avoid alcohol altogether. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of emotional side effects from drinking.

Stick to moderate consumption

According toNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate consumption means one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Having an extra drink or two every now and then is not automatic.get drunk.

But regularly drinking more alcohol than these guidelines recommend can come with a number of health risks, including depression.

drink safely

Drinking responsibly isn't just about staying off the streets. By following safe drinking guidelines, you can help reduce your risk of depression, as well as other hangover symptoms.

Follow these tips for safe drinking:

  • Drink slowly.Limit yourself to one drink per hour.
  • Eat before you drink.Anutritious mealit can help mitigate some of the harmful effects of alcohol, including dehydration and depression.
  • Don't forget the water.A glass of water after every alcoholic drink can help you stay hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol thoughyou are already feeling down.Instead of drinking to forget a bad day, consider catching up with a friend, watching a favorite movie, or getting some rest.Meditation.

Stop drinking if you start to feel bad.

If you experience any unwanted side effects - physical or emotional - while drinking, it might be best to stop for one night.

Didn't you eat or drink much other than alcohol? A glass of water and a light snack can help stave off a bad hangover.

Relaxing with a warm bath, soft music, and other relaxing or calming activities before bed can also help.

Address negative feelings as they arise.

If you take steps to deal with negative emotions as you experience them, you can prevent them from becoming too overwhelming.

If you have healthy habits for dealing with unwanted feelings, you'll likely find it easier to use these strategies to defend against the distressing emotions you may experience from drinking.

Helpful strategies for dealing with difficult emotional experiences include:

  • write diaryor make art
  • to meditate
  • talk to loved ones
  • seek professional support

It's quite common to feel a little down after drinking. ThatBluesit usually doesn't take long, though, so you'll probably feel better in a day or two.

However, if factors other than alcohol are affecting your mood, feelings of depression may persist even after your hangover subsides.

It may be time to seek support if feelings of depression:

  • last longer than a week or two
  • Impair your ability to work or carry out your daily tasks
  • Preventing you from enjoying time with your loved ones
  • include thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
  • affect sleep or appetite

Depression usually doesn't get better without it.Treatment. It can get worse over time, especially when combined with regular or heavy drinking.

If you're feeling depressed even without drinking, or if you're drinking because you're depressed, it's best to consult a mental health professional.

A therapist can help you:

  • identify the underlying causes of depression
  • Explore more helpful strategies to manage symptoms right now
  • finding effective treatments, including medications and behavioral strategies

Sometimes drinking alcohol can make it difficult to treat depression. If you drink regularly to manage depression symptoms, it may be beneficial to work with a therapist who specializes in treating co-occurring depression and alcohol use.

Drinking might seem like an easy way to deal with difficult emotions in the moment, but it's usually not effective in the long run.

If you're worried that alcohol has become your preferred way of dealing with negative feelings like depression, there's no shame in reaching out for support.

Your GP can refer you to a therapist, but you can also try directories like this one.psychology today.

OSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationalso offers free, confidential counseling to find treatment. Call 1-800-662-4357 anytime, any day of the year.

Crystal Raypole previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her areas of interest include Asian languages ​​and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, science, positive sexuality, and mental health. In particular, she works to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

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