Mental Health Month: Why Drinking While Depressed Leads Downhill

Depression & Drinking - Transcend Recovery Community

The great English poet G. K. Chesterton wrote: “drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.” More than just a saying, there is a profound and applicable truth to this, even in the modern day. Depression and drinking go hand in hand, and one makes the other worse. It’s a terrible relationship, one you would never want to entertain – and just as abusing alcohol can make you miserable, abusing alcohol because you’re miserable will only make both worse.

Alcohol is a common coping mechanism for the simple reason that it does, to a degree, make us happier. To be more precise, it makes people worry less. As an anti-anxiety drug of sorts, alcohol soothes the mind and calms the spirit – but at a cost. Not only is alcohol addictive, but it is poisonous. Too much at once, or over one’s life, will kill you.

And despite alcohol’s ability to make you forget for just a moment, nothing will have changed once you wake up. The way out of misery – the way out of depression – is by fighting through the pain and pushing against the problems. Therapy and treatment are in preparation of these two things – and drugs like alcohol will present you with setbacks in your depression, and other problems. Here’s why.

 

Alcohol And The Brain

Anyone who’s had more than a few drinks knows that alcohol clearly has a perceivable effect on the brain – one that does not take long at all to kick in. From slurred speech to difficulty thinking and slower reaction, the consensus between all drinkers is that it makes you slow – regardless of whether you are a happy drunk, a sad drunk, or an angry drunk. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and reduces anxiety, with the specifics differing from person to person based on their history with alcohol, and their genetics.

Outside of the effects of a single binge drinking session, alcohol also leaves lasting effects on the brain – negative ones. Alcohol slowly eats away at the brain and at several of your organs, primarily your heart, liver, and kidneys. But in the brain, rapid and severe drinking will lead to memory loss, slowed cognition, and increased risk-taking – followed by problems with decision making, caused by a combination of nerve damage and grey matter damage.

 

Why Does Alcohol Worsen Depression?

This all goes hand in hand with mental health issues, as alcohol not only induces brain damage, but worsens the effects of depression by increasing feelings of guild and helplessness and presenting a risk of addiction.

The damage is long-lasting, but not permanent. Abstinence can give your body enough time to heal, but the process takes years. Just like the battle against alcoholism, improving your brain and organ health after excessive drinking takes time.

 

Finding The Motivation To Do Anything

Depression is more than occasional sadness. Sometimes, it is defined as the inability to feel joy or pleasure. To paint a picture, people struggling with depression are fighting an existential battle that, from an outsider’s perspective, is completely invisible. They struggle with thoughts of suicide, and some days, getting out of the bed can seem like an impossible task – let alone getting a change of clothes, taking a shower, or cleaning up.

There are ups and downs for everyone, but for people with clinical depression, the downs slip far below the limits of the chart, off the board, into unseen realms.

Telling someone with depression to simply feel better is asinine, but the ultimate goal of treatment and therapy is to make this very task possible. Fortunately there are treatments for depression available, including new depression treatment methods like TMS, that can help without feeling the need to drink due to depression. People with depression sometimes lack the motivation to do what most would consider the most basic things – and they feel all the worse for it. Friends or family may tell someone with depression to just do it – regardless of whether it means getting dressed, walking the dog, doing the dishes, or making coffee – and finding themselves unable to, the feeling of worthlessness grows, and the disease becomes crushingly difficult to shake off.

There are days when things are better, and the depression is not as dominating. Days when a person might wake up and have just enough energy to start the day.

These are the most important days, especially if your depression is coupled with a dangerous habit like drinking. When you wake up, make it a goal to immediately jump up and out of bed. Summon as much visceral vigor as possible to complete the most basic and fundamental task of the day – before your mind can find a way to talk you out of it. In most cases, depression manifests as a long list of self-defeating thoughts and voices – by starting the day quickly before the voices can take hold, you can get dressed as hurriedly as possible and get to the first task of the day.

That task should always be something therapeutic. Exercising, walking in sunshine, listening to music, or starting your day with a comedy podcast are all quick and easy ways to achieve an initial mental boost, right out of the gate. Choose something depending on how you feel that day and make it a morning ritual to infuse your day with a spark of joy.

With time, you can set up a more complex schedule, and draft some goals. It can start with something like completing two chores in one day, or folding laundry faster. It may be something like increasing the time you spend walking, finishing a project for one of your hobbies, completely reading a book, or progressing to a harder exercise. Accomplishing things – no matter how small they might seem – can feel like adding notches to your belt, as well as improving both your physical and mental health. There may be times when motivation is harder to come by – but in the long-term things will get better if you work at it, and get help for addition and mental help.

 

10 Signs of Alcoholism

signs of alcoholism | Transcend Recovery Community

Recognizing alcoholism isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Alcohol, unlike a lot of harder and illegal drugs, is a pervasive part of Western culture. Whether it’s enjoying a glass of wine, having a pint at the local bar with some friends, or enjoying some champagne for New Years and eggnog for Christmas, a little bit of booze here and there isn’t an uncommon sight at nearly any adult social gathering. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any obvious signs of alcoholism – and recognizing these signs can be the difference between helping a friend in need and finding your friend in the ER.

Please note that these are simply common signs of alcoholism, and they do not denote a definitive diagnosis of an addiction. It’s best to let an expert gather all the information before making an informed call, and even then, an addiction can’t be treated or even properly addressed until the person struggling with the problem acknowledges it to begin with.

However, knowing these 10 signs of alcoholism can help you not only identify if your friend needs help but if you might have a problem with your drinking habits. Alcoholism does not just target people with anxiety or depression issues, and neither is it a sign that things are going badly in your life. Some people just happen to slip down the slippery slope of addiction through a cascade of decisions, and getting back out of it before realizing how far you’ve fallen can be exceptionally tricky without some perspective.

Without further ado:

 

Signs Of Alcoholism: Hiding The Habit

The absolute biggest tell regarding alcoholism – or any addiction, for that matter – is when someone is hiding their behavior. This doesn’t strictly mean that they think they have a problem, though. It simply means they know that what they’re doing looks like an addiction – and they rationalize their behavior by telling themselves that they’re still in control of their actions and that they’re simply taking precautions to protect their reputation, rather than expose themselves as actual addicts.

This is because struggling with addiction is a serious stigma. That’s not exactly ground-breaking news, but it does make it harder for people to admit to themselves that something is wrong – because no one wants to acknowledge something’s gone wrong if they can’t help it.

If you’re finding yourself going through extreme measures to hide your drinking, or if you find someone sneaking alcohol into places they shouldn’t, and drinking at times they shouldn’t, then it’s the first major signs of alcoholism.

 

Unexplainable Mood Shifts

Addiction can quite dramatically mess with a person’s brain, and the constant influx of drugs – including alcohol – can change the way a person feels drastically, and affect their mood in both the short-term and long-term.

Alcohol is a drug that lowers a person’s inhibitions, cognition and anxiety. It quite literally makes you a little braver, by diminishing your risk management skills, decision making abilities and fears. This, however, can result in erratic, thoughtless behavior, including sudden aggression, sadness, inexplicable bursts of joy and anger. Excessive alcohol can increase depression and anxiety, too.

There are underlying triggers for most of these emotions, although sometimes, alcohol just simply causes mood swings that don’t have anything to do with being an exaggerated emotion of your own. Experiencing these mood shifts may be one of the signs of alcoholism.

 

You Feel Guilty

If you feel guilty about your drinking habits, then you’re likely well on your way to an alcoholic status, or have already reached that point. Guilt isn’t just a negative emotion – it’s the denial starting to crack under the pressure of reality, and it can be very painful as one of the signs of alcoholism.

Guilt is not something you’re meant to live with, but you are meant to overcome it – and if you feel guilty about how much or how often you’ve been drinking, then that is one of the good signs of alcoholism that show you should seriously consider getting help. You can try and quit on your own, but depending on how far your addiction has gone, getting help is the better option.

 

Drinking Despite The Consequences

Drinking alcohol, like most other mind-altering substances, has its consequences. Drinking a lot of alcohol is even worse, as the drug acts like a poison in the body, creating massive headaches and overwhelming feelings of nausea.

But beyond the physical consequences of alcohol consumption, the hardest consequences to deal with are the social, psychological and emotional ones. Excessive drinking can be expensive, can cost you entire relationships and friendships, and can even end your career.

If you’re starting to strain your relationships with those around you due to your excessive drinking and showing signs of alcoholism, you need help.

 

Escaping Any Situation Through Alcohol

Alcohol is not a constructive coping mechanism in the slightest. It does not effectively relieve stress, simply masking it, and it does not benefit your mind or body in the slightest way – the opposite, in fact.

On top of that, excessive drinking tends to make things worse when you need a little bit of an escape. If you absolutely need to unwind with some friends and have never had a problem with moderate drinking, that’s another matter – but if binge drinking is your answer to dealing with loss, grief, or frustration, then you’ll be doing no one any favors including yourself. The signs of alcoholism are there when you’re binge drinking away your feelings.

 

Requiring A Drink To Get Through The Day

If alcohol is your go-to brew in the morning, afternoon and before bedtime just to deal with your every day life, then you’ve got more than just signs of alcoholism to deal with.

Alcohol is not a problem solver, it only creates more problems. Relying on it to coast through a rough time in your life will make things worse – but by getting help, you won’t only find a way to deal with your new alcohol habit, but you can get the help you need to get your life back in order and address the major trigger of your addiction: stress.

 

Getting Aggressive And Defensive Over Your Drinking

Mood swings caused by drunkenness can often include aggression. When a person’s inhibition is lowered, this includes their natural inclination to avoid conflict. Getting blackout drunk means you probably won’t be able to think straight, and you can easily be provoked – or provoke others around you.

You might just wake up the next day with more than a little head throbbing. In the long-term, these signs of alcoholism and resulting altercations can cause more than just a few bruises.

 

Taking Unnecessary Risks All The Time

Risky behavior is a trademark of being drunk – but if you’re struggling with alcoholism, then the risky behavior will become a trademark of your life. And regardless of how lucky you get, repeatedly taking massive risks means it’ll just be a matter of time before you lose, and too often, the loss can be tragic.

 

Blacking Out Often

Excessive binge drinking of alcohol causes black outs, accompanied by a lack of memory regarding what happened just before the black out. This isn’t just a short-term drawback – not only are you going to be missing out on entire hours and days of your life if this becomes a regular occurrence, but the constant blacking out can affect your brain and your capacity to remember things in general.

All drugs carry long-term deleterious consequences, typically for the brain. Alcohol is no exception. If you find yourself losing your mental faculties quickly, then you need to seek help with one of the most dangerous signs of alcoholism.

 

You Can’t Stop (Physically or Emotionally)

The final straw for determining alcoholism is the ability to stop – or lack thereof. If you can’t stop, either due to severe withdrawal symptoms or an emotional need (or both), then addiction treatment becomes a necessity.

Alcoholism is a genuine issue in America, although things have been getting better. By continuing to support each other and our loved ones, and offering help to all those who need it, we can further reduce the deaths alcohol claims on a yearly basis, and help people find a better life in sobriety.

What Are Some Drinks That Are An Alcohol Alternative?

Alcohol Alternative | Transcend Recovery Community

Alcohol is known as a social lubricant, because of its rich history of being the liquid centerpiece in many a party and gathering. Funerals, weddings, birthdays and sporting events – with the sole exception of baby showers, it’s fair to say that most of the time, when adults meet, it’s normal for a little alcohol to take part in the affair.

That’s not necessarily a terrible thing. Alcohol, as a drug, is poisonous to the human body in massive quantities. But when consumed moderately and responsibly by adults with non-addictive personalities, it usually isn’t a problem. Perhaps the greatest argument for drinking alcohol from time to time is history – alcohol and humanity are par for the course, and have been since the dawn of agriculture and civilization.

But not all of us enjoy a good pint now and again. Some people can’t hold their alcohol – others can’t control their consumption. We’re all different, and for some of us, society’s relationship with alcohol is more of a curse than anything else. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to have a bit of fun, or fit in with the crowd. Thankfully, the idea of an alcohol alternative exists – both for those who need an alcohol alternative to curb their consumption of the real thing, and for those who just can’t stand alcohol but don’t want to be the odd one out any longer.

 

When to Cut Down on Alcohol

Alcoholism is the biggest issue with the drug – at the end of the day, alcohol is addictive, and some people are far more prone to its addictive effects than others. If you can’t stop despite wanting to, and can’t stay away from the booze without feeling sick, then you know you have a problem and it might be time to consider an alcohol alternative.

Outside of the realms of addiction, alcohol is also dangerous to a person’s health. An excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to liver damage, brain damage, and the general breakdown of the body (including cancer).

Finally, cut down on alcohol if you don’t like it or don’t want to drink it. Falling for peer pressure and having a glass or two because everyone else is doing it is no way to live your life. Of course, regardless of why you choose to stop drinking, the follow up is: what do you drink then? For some, the answer is nothing, or an alcohol alternative or water. For others, there are quite a few alcohol alternative options in the non-alcohol world while recovering on their own or in a Los Angeles sober living.

 

Non-Alcoholic Beers and Wines

Of course, choosing non-alcoholic beers or wines might not be a great idea if you’re trying to avoid the idea of alcohol altogether. However, there are a lot of options out there for beer and wine enthusiasts looking for the flavor and richness of a dark brew or a dry wine, without the alcohol.

Some people find that a non-alcoholic beverage that is traditionally alcoholic helps with the transition to a completely alcohol-free life. Others want to be more radical, cutting it out of their life completely and finding a full on alcohol alternative.

 

Pick Your Alcohol Alternative

We’ve all heard of club soda, tonic water and seltzers – but what’s the difference between the three, and are they completely alcohol-free? The answer to the latter question is yes. None of those drinks have alcohol him them. And the differences are subtle.

Seltzer water is carbonated spring water from a specific area in Germany. Named after said area, the water has a certain combination of minerals, giving it a unique taste. Club soda is basically any carbonated water with similar minerals added on – while it can’t call itself Seltzer water, it’s often almost the same.

Tonic water is a bit different. Named after the fact that its main ingredient used to be a “tonic” against malaria, tonic water is basically a club soda infused with quinine. This gives it a bitter taste.

Quinine was first discovered as an isolated compound in waters contaminated by the cinchona tree, which gave those waters the special property of healing malaria. British officers at one point combined their tonic with sugar and gin to make it more palatable, creating the gin and tonic. Today’s tonic water is not nearly as concentrated as the medicinal drink, and is instead flavored for a mild bitter taste. While quinine is dangerous in high amounts, it’s almost impossible to overdose on tonic water. Chugging tonic water will not cure malaria, either.

Beyond these drinks, there are other alcohol alternative options to consider. Ginger ale, root beer and bitter lemon are all classic non-alcoholic carbonated drinks that are widely available, and can easily be made at home.

Some people opt to replace their habit of sipping on wine or beer at home, with teas, coffee and hot chocolate. Tea is common alcohol alternative due to the massive variety of different teas and different options. A homemade seeped infusion of ginger and lemon can emulate the bite of alcohol, without the alcohol.

From there, choosing the right drink is a matter of context. Do you want something to drink at the dinner table? At home? At the club? Wherever you go, non-alcoholic options are all around you. Some bars even offer mocktails – non-alcoholic cocktails. But always be sure to double-check with the bartender that you’re getting offered a drink with less than 0.5% alcohol.

 

You Have the Power to Change Your Drinking Habits

According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, you have the power to change  your life. No matter what bad habit you’re facing, including drinking and drug use, you can change it. No matter the unhealthy routine you’ve got in place – eating junk food, little sleep, substance use – you can make it different.

Here’s what Charles Duhigg has to say about habits:

“Hundreds of habits influence our days – they guide how we get dressed in the morning, talk to our kids, and fall asleep at night; they impact what we eat for lunch, how we do business, and whether we exercise or have a beer after work. Each of them has a different cue and offers a unique reward. Some are simple and others are complex, drawing upon emotional triggers and offering subtle neurochemical prizes.

But every habit, no matter its complexity, is malleable. The most addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager.

However, to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habits’ routines, and find alternatives. You must know you have control and be self-conscious enough to use it – and every chapter in this book is devoted to illustrating a different aspect of why that control is real.”

First, it’s incredible to know that any habit is malleable. Any old habit can be changed. This alone can be a source of hope and inspiration – you’re not stuck with alcoholism or drug addiction for the rest of your life. It’s possible to change!

And if you’re ready and willing, then all it takes is some hard work. We all have habits that are not good for us – whether it’s drinking too much coffee, smoking, or not exercising – but knowing that we have the power to change them is what counts! Knowing that we are in the driver’s seat takes the powerlessness of addiction and throws it out the window.

What’s important to remember, however, is that we must be willing to accept the work that’s involved in changing . The author points out in the third paragraph above that it will take some commitment to notice the cues and rewards that drive the habit. It will take some perseverance to change our routines and find alternatives. For instance, if you were used to drinking every night when you got home from work, then it’s going to take some effort to change that routine – but it’s possible!

However, keep in mind that just because you’ve made a clear decision to change doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen overnight. You might become vulnerable to relapse. You might give in to your cravings. You might feel the urge to return to “the good ol’ days”. Yet, even with a relapse, you can turn it around and return to the program that’s helping you stay sober. You can continue to turn your life around. Even if you’re making 3 steps forward and one step back, at least you’re moving forward. Successful long-term sobriety is possible because habits are malleable. Just as the author says – The most addicted alcoholics can become sober. However, you must consciously accept the hard work that comes with it. You can do it!

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com,
it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community.
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Alternatives to Drinking When You’re in Recovery

Just like any habit that you break, you’re going to feel an absence in your life. You’re going to notice the inability to do what you used to do, even if it was your choice to break the habit. For instance, if you’re used to biting your nails when you’re anxious, you may feel the tension of not wanting to bite your nails and needing to find an alternative way to cope with anxious feelings. And the same is true with drinking. If you’re used to drinking alcohol on Friday nights, what kind of experience can you have instead?

First, you should know that making the decision to quit drinking alcohol is an incredibly smart one. Despite the social expectations to drink, alcohol is nothing but dangerous. It creates car accidents, liver disease, contributes to crime, and can get in the way of relationships. There’s a good chance that if you’re in recovery, you know that your decision was a positive one. Now, the question is, what do you do with your free time? How do you celebrate your achievements, birthdays, and promotions at work? How do you connect with others if not through drinking?

Here are some alternatives for drinking that you may want to consider:

Learn to replace alcohol with another drink. You may want to have a chosen drink that you use to take the place of alcohol. This might be soda or coffee or sparkling water. Pick one and stick with it so that you’ll know what to say, especially if/when you’re caught off guard. The most common choice among many recovering addicts seems to be coffee. Although this has its benefits, caffeine is also an addictive substance, and a person may be replacing one addiction with another.

When in social situations, make sure to have a drink in your hand. This might be water, soda, or another non-alcoholic drink. By doing this, around you won’t be tempted to offer to get you a glass of wine or beer. At the same time, you won’t be tempted yourself.

Choose a special place to go or activity to do. Sometimes, for those in recovery going to an event where alcohol is being served may feel like too much of a trigger. Instead, choose a place that you enjoy where you will feel comfortable. This might be going to the movies more often, exercising on a regular basis, or visiting your favorite neighborhood park. Having a special place to go can be used as a reward each week you’re sober, as a comforting place to find relaxation and ease, or as a place to escape from the everyday stress of early recovery.

Throw a sober party every once in awhile. Everyone wants to have fun. The trick in recovery is learning to do so without the use of alcohol or drugs. You might invite your friends, family, and significant other to an event in which there is no alcohol. Simply enjoy each other’s company. You might have games ready to play, movies to watch, or a live band for dancing.

If you’ve ended the habit of alcohol abuse, the above is a list of alternative ways to enjoy, celebrate, and appreciate life without the use of alcohol or drugs.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com,
it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community.
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Alcohol Hits Harder with Age

When a person is young, their bodies can more easily face the unhealthy effects of alcohol. There are times of course when a teen or young adult might drink excessive amounts of alcohol and suffer from alcohol poisoning. But for the most part, young people can handle the unhealthy ways that alcohol affects the body. As one gets older, however, the body handles alcohol differently, and this may be important for anyone over 65 years of age to remember.

The pressures to drink don’t stop with adolescence. There can be pressure to have a drink in your hand at business meetings, parties, and during retirement. According to U.S. News, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognized a growing problem with alcohol abuse among those over 65 years of age. It’s an “invisible epidemic” SAMHSA called it.

One of the biggest problems is that because alcohol impairs the body in more significant ways with age, drinking can bring more serious consequences. Aging can lower a person’s body tolerance to alcohol. This can mean that older adults feel the effects of alcohol more quickly than when they were younger. And this can create incredible risks for an elderly person to experience falls, car accidents, and other forms of accidental harm.

To make matters worse, there are more and more people aging with the baby boomer population. For instance, the 65-and-older population is estimated to be at about 83 million people by the year 2050. And in 4 years – by the year 2020 – the baby boomers will help double the rate of those over the age of 50 who have an addiction, raising it from 2.8 million in 2006 to 5.7 million in 2020. Furthermore, the resources for providing treatment for addiction, especially among the elderly, will have to expand in order to meet the projected needs of those addicted to alcohol and drugs.

And when it comes to those over 65 years of age, it’s  not only treating addiction, but it’s also treating the illnesses that come with addiction – or that have been made worse because of alcohol use. For instance, drinking alcohol for a long period of time in one’s life can affect coordination, thiamine deficiency, and other forms of poor nutrition. Alcoholism can lead to illnesses having to do with the heart, such as hypertension and an irregular heartbeat. It can also cause impotence, irregular menstrual cycles, pancreatitis, stroke, confusion, and amnesia. Other illness associated with chronic drinking include:

  • Cancer
  • Cirrhosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Gout
  • High blood Pressure
  • Nerve Damage

Furthermore, because many elderly men and women already have health concerns, they may be taking medication and undergoing forms of medical treatment. The mixture of medication and alcohol can also be a concern. In fact, it can create internal bleeding and heart problems, among other risks.

If you or someone you know is over the age of 65 and drinking alcohol on a regular basis, seek professional help. Without alcohol, those in the latter part of life can think clearly, experience less health problems, and have more energy. If you’re drinking, speak to your doctor or mental health professional for assistance.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com,
it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community.
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Alcohol Is a Poison That the Body Works Hard to Eliminate

For some, it might be hard to realize that alcohol is actually a toxic chemical. Sure, it can make a party more lively and it can bring out the social side of people, but at what cost? The body is severely affected by the continued use of alcohol, and it’s important that the general public know this.

Essentially, there are two toxins in alcohol that the body needs to work hard to eliminate. These are acetaldehyde and acetic acid. Acetaldehyde is a colorless liquid created by oxidizing ethanol. And alcohol is a colorless, flammable liquid that comes in various forms. However, the form that is used in beverages such as wine, beer, and liquor is known as ethyl alcohol. It is produced through the fermentation of grains and fruits, which happens when yeast acts upon certain ingredients in food and creates alcohol. Beer and wine are drinks that are fermented and can contain anywhere from 2% to 20% alcohol. And other drinks that are distilled, such as liquor, can contain anywhere from 40% to 50% of alcohol.

No matter the type of alcoholic drink, however, alcohol is dangerous to the body. The liver does the majority of the hard work in processing alcohol and removing it from our system. However, about 10% of alcohol is also eliminated through our breath, sweat, and urine. Whatever is left in the body will slowly be eliminated over the next 7-12 hours following drinking.

Although the liver does the hardest work in eliminating toxins, alcohol use impacts all the other major organs as well. In fact, the head scientist of a study on alcoholism reported the following: “Clearly alcohol abuse can compromise the structure and functionality of several human organs, thus directly increasing the risk of death,” The study mentioned here also revealed that alcoholics may be more at risk for certain types of cancers. This study and other research studies have found that alcoholism can contribute to the following health problems:

  • Hypertension
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Impotence
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stroke
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Cirrhosis
  • Dementia
  • Seizures
  • Gout
  • High blood pressure
  • Nerve damage
  • Night sweats

Furthermore, regular use of alcohol can contribute to glucose intolerance as well as obesity, which are both linked to Type II diabetes.

It should be noted that most countries have a guideline for alcohol use for men and women, For instance, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse, men should avoid drinking no more than 4 drinks in a day or no more than 14 drinks per week.  Women should avoid drinking no more than 3 drinks in a day or no more than 7 drinks per week. However, these guidelines are put into place to minimize the damage that alcohol already has on people’s health and well being.

It goes without saying that alcohol also contributes to crime, deadly car accidents, and other forms of substance use. It can also play a role in suicide attempts and one’s overall psychological health.

If you or someone you know is regularly drinking alcohol, consider the above health risks. If you feel you need support in bringing your drinking to an end, contact a mental health provider today.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com,
it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community.
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

What to Do If You Have CFS and Want to Drink Alcohol

Alcohol is a substance that is highly accepted in society. In fact, it’s so accepted that it continues to be used by millions of people around the world despite the many dangers that it presents. Alcohol has played a role in car accidents, caused alcohol poisoning, and has contributed to a person’s participation in crime and suicide. However, alcohol also has many health risks, including severely affecting the liver if consumed on a regular basis.

Recent research also shows that there may be a relationship between alcohol and the presence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This is an illness in which a person cannot relieve symptoms of fatigue and tiredness through resting. Essentially, a person feels tired all the time and has little energy to complete his or her responsibilities in life. CFS can get in the way of work, supporting one’s family, and having a social life. Symptoms include:

  • Extreme and chronic tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pains
  • Extreme fatigue after putting out large amounts of energy, such as in exercise.
  • Joint pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Problems with short term memory
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling of fatigue that is different than generally feeling tired

Although there is no strong evidence that shows consuming alcohol can contribute to the development of CFS, alcohol can certainly make the condition worse. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it will slow down the functioning of the body and mind. This, at first, might make it seem that alcohol can help a person with CFS feel better. And there’s no question that some people with CFS might turn to alcohol as a means to take away their physical and emotional pain. However, regardless of whether a person has an illness, continued use of a substance as a means to cope with life can lead to psychological and physical dependence. And the danger of dependence upon a substance is the possibility of addiction. Furthermore, there have been studies that show that those with CFS should avoid the use of alcohol altogether.

If you struggle with CFS and you have found yourself reaching for alcohol as a means to feel better, gather a team of professionals to support you. Contact your doctor and let him or her know what you’re going through. Call a mental health provider to see what you can do to avoid alcohol dependence and addiction. And lastly join a support group of those who also have CFS. Spending time with others with the same illness might curb those feelings of being alone with an illness, which might otherwise add to the need to drink.

However, if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, whether you have an illness such as CFS or not, contact a mental health provider for support. Doing so may help you break free from the need to drink alcohol and find greater inner resources to face the illness of CFS.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community
or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Alcoholism and Diabetes

Many experts have described addiction as an illness. Just like any chronic illness, addiction needs to be managed over time. It does not have a cure and therefore its symptoms need to be controlled. Addiction is also considered to be an illness because it can reoccur if a recovering addict is not careful. And like addiction, diabetes is an illness that can have severe effects on one’s health.

Diabetes is an illness in which the body does not have the ability to produce any or enough insulin which can cause elevated levels of glucose in the blood. If glucose levels get too high, it can severely impair other organs in the body. In addition to both being an illness, diabetes and alcohol addiction do have a direct relationship. For instance, a person who drink alcohol excessively may later develop diabetes and continuing to drink even after one has been diagnosed with diabetes can make the illness worse.

Regardless of the type of diabetes, alcohol can impair one’s healing and make one’s condition worse. There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1: A person with this illness is dependent upon insulin. Their pancreas is not making enough insulin and therefore a person needs to take the hormone insulin on a regular basis. This illness usually gets diagnosed when a person is still in their childhood and it requires the regular use of insulin shots or an insulin pump in order to control blood sugar levels.

Type 2: This type of diabetes is often diagnosed later in one’s life. Although the pancreas might have produced insulin earlier in one’s life, it now produces too little or the cells have become resistant to insulin. This type of diabetes is frequently the result of making too many poor choices regarding food and alcohol intake. Those with this type of diabetes take medication versus insulin shots.

Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes is temporary and usually experienced by women who are pregnant.

It is unlikely that alcohol addiction would cause type 1 diabetes. However, there is evidence that suggests that alcoholism can lead to type 2 diabetes. Among many health concerns that alcoholism causes (such as impotence, irregular menstrual cycles, stroke, confusion, and amnesia), alcoholism can also lead to pancreatitis. Furthermore, regular use of alcohol can contribute to glucose intolerance as well as obesity, which are both linked to type 2 diabetes.

If you are experiencing an addiction to alcohol and you’re concerned about developing diabetes, look for the following signs:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent thirst
  • Passing excessive amounts of urine
  • Wounds that take a long time to heal
  • Recurrent infections
  • Often feeling hungry
  • Irritability
  • Frequent skin, gum, or bladder infections
  • Blurry vision

Of course, any of these symptoms alone may not be an indicator of diabetes. However, if you have two or more of these signs, contact a medical doctor right away. Furthermore, if you are using alcohol on a regular basis, contact a mental health provider for support.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community
or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Breaking the Cycle of Drinking and Drug Use

Breaking the Cycle of Drinking and Drug Use | Transcend Recovery Community

Addiction is none other than a habit. It’s a pattern of engaging in the same behavior again and again. Of course, it’s a little different than biting your nails when you’re nervous. Instead, addiction is a habit on a larger scale, with more significant consequences. However, at its most basic level, addiction is a habit that must be broken.

For instance, you might have gotten into a routine. Perhaps you started out drinking on the weekends. You were in a routine of working Monday through Friday and then unwinding with a few glasses of wine at the end of the week. Gradually, that routine might have shifted a bit and you might have started to drink after work too. Then, a new routine developed. Instead, of taking a nap or spending time with family after work, you might have started to drink, knowing how good it makes you feel. You enjoy the buzz of drinking and it might be the tool that helps take your anxieties away.

Then, as the addiction progressed, you might have developed a new routine – whenever you feel anxiety, that’s when you drink. And as the brain is beginning to change because of excessive alcohol use, you might find that you’re actually drinking before work too. If you don’t want to face the day, you use alcohol to help take the tension away. If you don’t want to face the board meeting where you’ll have to rub elbows with all the executives of the organization you work for, you use alcohol to help reduce the social anxiety.

For many people, the routine of addiction is taking a drug or substance whenever they are not feeling well. However, this is precisely the problem because often use of the drug only leaves you feeling worse in the end. And though it’s tempting to take more of the drug to feel better, doing so only creates an emotional hole that’s hard to climb out of.

Breaking out of the routine of addiction can mean two things:

First, it’s breaking the habit of turning to drugs or alcohol to feel better. It’s common to use substances as a means to cope with life. However, there are many other coping tools that are healthier and that can leave one feeling better instead of feeling worse. For instance, anxiety-prone people might learn and regularly practice relaxation techniques. These practices can reduce anxiety over time and be a source of coping with life’s challenges.

Second, just like we get into a particular daily routine, there is also a routine to drinking or drug use. We might become attached to those patterns. For instance, you might be in the routine of making yourself lunch the night before for your workday. You might get attached to the ease of having that ready when you wake up in the morning. Similarly, there are attachments to drinking or drug use. You might be attached to the routine of unwinding after work with a glass of wine or on the weekend with a case of beer.

Treatment for addiction is breaking the habit of substance use – both the routine of using at certain times as well as the ways that one has come to rely upon the drug. Although it is challenging to break the habit of addiction, it can be done!

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community
or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog