It is often the case that men and women drink alcohol to escape pain. This might be physical pain in the body. However, frequently, it is emotional pain. People tend to turn to drinking when they are faced with fear, sadness, loss, anger, or the feelings of betrayal. Sometimes these feelings are the result of life challenges, such as financial worries or divorce. However, sometimes certain feelings are the result of an underlying mental illness. Someone might experience depression or anxiety or the mood swings that typically come with bipolar disorder. And mental illness, specifically depression, is commonly associated with suicidal thinking. This article will review the relationship between drinking alcohol to supposedly feel better and how drinking can actually increase the risk of suicide.
When someone turns to drinking alcohol, likely they are hoping to feel better. They are wishing for that alcoholic buzz and delirium that takes life’s problem away. However, there are dangers to drinking, especially when someone experiences suicidal thinking.
Here are some reasons why drinking alcohol can be risky when someone has a tendency for suicidal thoughts:
- Alcohol can exacerbate what someone is actually already feeling. When someone is feeling bad, he or she could feel a lot worse afterwards. Of course, this deterioration of mood could further any thoughts or ideas about suicide.
- Regular alcohol abuse can bring on depression in someone. Research indicates that about 40% of those who abuse alcohol also have depression.
- Alcohol can create feelings of impulsivity. Someone is more likely to attempt suicide when drinking without thoughts about the future of one’s family or any other consequences.
- Alcohol can also lower inhibitions in someone. If someone had been thinking about suicide but had been afraid to do so, alcohol might propel them to take their life. Many of those who die by suicide reveal that they had alcohol or other drugs in their system.
- The addiction of alcohol frequently contributes to the deterioration of one’s life. Losing friends, family, career, and home can create a significant amount of stress for someone, further contributing to their suicidal intentions.
- Alcohol can increase feelings of aggression, which can be exhibited by taking one’s own life.
According to research, about 21% of people who experience an alcohol addiction lose their life to suicide. If you or someone you know drinks alcohol regularly, the following are warning signs to look for regarding suicide:
- Giving possessions away.
- Long periods of low mood with hopelessness about the future.
- Increase in the use of drugs and alcohol.
- Withdrawing from friends and family.
- An obsession with death.
- Actively seeking tools to commit suicide.
- Talking to friends and family as though they are never going to see them again.
- Mood swings.
- Expressing feeling of relief when thinking about suicide.
If you or someone you know regularly drinks alcohol and exhibits any of the following warning signs, you can save a life by calling for help. Contacting a physician or mental health provider can be just the right support to turn a life around.
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