Stress, Depression, And Alcohol Abuse: The Link To Suicidal Thoughts
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Today’s world can be a stressful place. Whether it’s work-related or coming from issues within the home, financial woes or relationship troubles, it can be difficult to find ways to cope with it all. For many, a Friday night out with friends to grab a drink or two can be just the thing to help take it all away. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and allows us to relax a bit and have fun in a social setting, which certainly makes a stressful week look a little brighter. But when we begin to rely on a drink to be able to get through the day, it quickly becomes abuse, and there’s an entirely new set of problems that come with it.
Many people feel a sense of shame where substance abuse is concerned, especially when it comes to opening up to friends or family about the fact that they may have a problem. It’s important to remember that shame can play no part in reaching out for and accepting help. When stress becomes a dependence on alcohol to have fun, to be able to cope throughout a given day, or to get good sleep, it may be time to take stock of the situation and consider reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, or treatment program.
While alcohol can affect everyone differently, it does raise the risk for certain troubling factors; the combination of alcohol’s physical and psychological effects on the brain along with the negative emotions you may already be battling can make for a perfect storm that could cause depression, the need to isolate yourself from others, and suicidal thoughts.
In fact, suicide is about six times more likely in those who suffer from substance abuse problems than in others in the general population. One of the reasons for this is likely that alcohol changes a person’s ability to think critically and clouds judgement, which can make a plan for self-harm seem like the best option. Another is that imbibing can make the drinker impulsive, giving them less of a chance to think twice about what they’re doing.
Often, feeling isolated from friends and family is one of the biggest issues for a person who abuses alcohol. It is easiest to push everyone away and drink alone, in part because the fear of being judged or shamed by loved ones is too much to bear.
If you feel you don’t have anyone to talk to but are worried that you might have a problem, it may be helpful to find a counselor or support group who will listen without judgement. You can also speak to your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional, especially if you are having feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts. It’s imperative that you not start any medication regimen without disclosing your issues with alcohol first.
Alcohol abuse can be made all the more difficult to escape because alcohol is relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire, and because often friends and family have it available or use it in social situations. Addiction can be difficult to pinpoint on your own, so it’s important to know what the warning signs are and accept them. It’s all too easy to push away the reality of a situation when you aren’t ready to take on the responsibility of quitting. If you find that you’re drinking to cope with stress or to change your moods, or if you no longer want to be social when you used to love going out with your friends, it may be time to admit that you have a problem.
It can be helpful to sit down and think honestly about the reasons why you drink. If it is stress related, considering the main causes of your stress can be a great first step in moving down the road to sobriety. While family issues can be a bit trickier to work out than those related to the workplace, it may just be a question of communication. Talk to your family members, your boss, or your co-workers to try and resolve the problem in a healthy way.
Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life.Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures,tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created PublicHealthLibrary.org with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.