What comes first: Alcohol addiction or mental health problem?

mental health addictions

Alcoholism, or abusive consumption of alcoholic beverages, has serious consequences and effects in a transcendental way the life of the human being in all its facets. Also in the mental field, alcoholism has very strong psychological consequences caused by a generalized mental maladjustment.

The brain is one of the most important organs of the body and one of the most affected by alcohol consumption, in addition to the liver and stomach. Alcohol consumption alters brain functions, from the emotions (drastic changes of mood) to the processes of thinking and judgment.

Although each person is different and tolerates alcohol differently, alcohol intake harms everyone equally. So, we want to tell you what are the effects of alcohol on the brain and how it influences the functioning of our central nervous system and mental health.

Why do mental and psychological problems come?

First psychological problems come because drunkenness is not the normal state of the brain. The perception of the exterior and the response of the human body to the stimuli are strongly altered and generate circles of ups and downs in self-esteem.

Also, excessive alcohol consumption causes brain damage at the neural level plus the gaps and loss of memory at peak times. Over time, the brain and nervous system deteriorate to the point of being completely worn out, so all its functions reduce both the speed and frequency with which they are executed by the brain.

Main consequences of alcoholism

alcohol addictionThese are some of the psychological consequences that derive from alcoholism:

  • Neuronal damage
  • Dementia and memory loss
  • Depression and suicide
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Problems sleeping and insomnia
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In any case, we must emphasize that alcoholism increases the risk of violence as it sometimes increases the levels of aggressiveness and lowers the tolerance thresholds of the drunk person.

On the other hand, alcohol addiction has other consequences that not only affect the mental health of the patient. That is why they can be classified in:

  • Physical Consequences of Alcoholism
  • Social and family consequences of alcoholism
  • Professional Consequences of Alcoholism
  • Damage to the nervous system

Its impact on the nervous system, the brain, and the mental health

That alcohol affects the central nervous system means that our physical state will also be affected, even if we are not aware of it at first. Among the harmful effects of alcohol on the nervous system, we highlight the following:

  • It affects the emotions (drastic changes of humor) and the faculty of the speech.
  • It alters the action of neurotransmitters, resulting in decreased alertness, delayed reflexes, changes in vision, tremors, etc.
  • It damages the brain cells and peripheral nerves irreversibly.
  • It produces sleep disorders and prevents sleep and rest.
  • Vitamin B1 decreases, which causes alterations in the person’s memory.
  • Increases the risk of depression.
  • It affects the ability to concentrate and the motor functions (walking, running, moving the arms or legs, etc.).
  • It can cause periods of amnesia and profound alteration of consciousness (hours, minutes and even days).


How does it affect men and women?

Alcoholism in Men generates sexual problems such as impotence or erectile dysfunction. These problems that in principle are physical consequences also have their counterpart in the psychological and mental plane since they have a very negative influence on self-esteem, which can lead to states of depression and anxiety.

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In the case of alcoholism in women, there is a mismatch in the female menstrual cycle, causing hormonal problems that have their repercussion in mood and also in self-esteem even reaching depression or anxiety as well.

Why are millennial women drinking more?

Alcohol consumption among women is increasing. A phenomenon that, according to statistics, began more than a decade ago, to the point that nowadays one in three ensures to drink daily. As in their day with smoking, sociologists often link this tendency to the new role of women in modern societies.

The so-called women’s liberation has been associated with the massive incorporation of women into the world of work, a socially active life, single-parent families and, ultimately, their economic independence.


An accelerated way of life that often results in stress, anxiety or depressive symptoms. In these situations, alcohol no longer has a merely playful role to become a window open to evasion. Perhaps the most surprising are the prototype profile of the habitual drinker: the first-time mother, between the ages of 30 and 40, with university training and a full-time worker.



Beyond the reasons, or whether you are male or female, there is no doubt that alcohol is more dangerous than many thinks. Therefore, if you understand its impacts, as we have shown here, you can help yourself or someone you know is in trouble or can be so by the consumption of alcohol.

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