Alcohol and mental health are closely linked. Alcohol is a depressant with numerous significant impacts on the brain and the body, especially with prolonged or heavy use. Alcohol use affects mental health because it impacts the areas of the brain that control our moods and thinking. Many people with mental health disorders turn to alcohol, seeking relief from their symptoms. However, using alcohol to cope with life’s problems or complex emotions only causes more problems. Research shows that most people with mental health disorders also have alcohol use disorder (AUD) and vice versa.
Arkview Recovery provides comprehensive mental health services for co-occurring disorders in a non-hospital residential setting. Clients receive individualized care based on our holistic, multidisciplinary approach utilizing evidence-based mental health therapies. Contact us today if you are ready to receive the treatment you need and deserve. Call 717.744.0756.
The Connection Between Alcohol and Mental Health
Alcohol is legal, and drinking is deeply ingrained in American culture. Because of this, many people do not view alcohol in the same way as other drugs, even though it is equally as dangerous and even deadly.
People drink for a wide range of reasons, and countless people use alcohol as a coping mechanism. While alcohol can provide temporary relief, it only contributes to more problems in the long run. Alcohol is a depressant that disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters, reduces inhibitions, and slows down how the brain processes information.
The following are common side effects of an alcohol use disorder, which can range in severity from mild to severe:
- Increases levels of anxiety and depression
- Impairs memory and concentration
- Increases risk-taking behavior
- Increases aggression
- Increases risks of self-harm and suicide
- Disrupts sleep patterns
- Causes personality changes
Frequent or heavy alcohol use intensifies these effects, especially mood regulation. While a drink or two might alleviate stress and make you feel more relaxed, alcohol use dramatically worsens mental and physical wellbeing. It is critical for individuals who suffer from mental health disorders and AUD to receive dual diagnosis treatment for successful, lasting recovery from either.
The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Mental Health and Alcohol Use Disorders
Mental health disorders and AUD each present challenges and cause severe difficulties in the lives of those impacted. When they present as co-occurring disorders, the two become more complex. At Arkview Recovery, our integrated approach to dual diagnosis treatment provides insight into how your co-occurring disorders impact each other and your ability to function.
Using evidence-based mental health therapies, clients learn coping and life skills that they can carry with them beyond treatment, providing them with the power to handle triggers that provoke disruptive symptoms. Residential dual diagnosis treatment also provides:
Individual and group therapy
Individualized treatment plans
Relapse prevention planning
If you struggle with mental health and alcohol misuse, you are not alone. Research indicates that nearly half of individuals struggling with mental health disorders also have AUD. The signs and symptoms of AUD and mental health vary between individuals and depend upon the nature of the dual diagnosis. Part of what makes dual diagnosis so complicated is that the symptoms of each disorder are similar and overlapping, making it difficult to distinguish which is causing what symptoms.
Reach Out to Arkview Recovery
Alcohol can make the symptoms of mental health disorders worse. At the same time, mental health disorders can cause people to turn to alcohol use to find relief from their symptoms. At Arkview Recovery, we understand the complex relationship between mental health and alcohol use. We offer comprehensive residential treatment utilizing evidence-based mental health therapies to help clients effectively manage co-occurring disorders.
It is not impossible to overcome a dual diagnosis. The first step is acknowledging your problem. The next is reaching out for help. Reach out to Arkview Recovery to learn more about the relationship between alcohol and mental health and start your recovery journey. Call 717.744.0756.