Is Alcohol a Depressant? How are Alcohol and Depression related. Detailed report

Alcohol is a serious problem these days. The problem of alcoholism is mostly found in more developed and rich nations. Similarly, depression is also known as a first world problem and it is no surprise to see these two conditions coming together.

In fact, most of us believe that alcohol is a substance that helps in bringing depressing thoughts and thus cause depression. But we do not know for sure.

So, this article will answer that ‘is alcohol a depressant?’ question and you will also find some fix for hangover vomits.

Is alcohol a depressant?

If you have a habit of drinking regularly and heavily you likely have these problems of depression and all these symptoms of depression.

The brain chemistry gets disturbed by the alcohol intake making the mood unpredictable and no so good. Serotonin is a chemical which helps in regulating your mood and drinking regularly lowers the amount of serotonin in your brain.

Looks like alcohol is actually a depressant. There are some good statistics to prove you just that as well. It has been observed that people with depression and anxiety in Britain were twice as likely to be heavy drinkers. There is another aspect to this as well.

Some people already have anxiety and depression and they drink to relieve their problem while others are the general ones who drink first and the alcohol becomes the root cause for their depression.

How are alcohol and depression related?

Some people have this misconception that alcohol and depression are related in a positive way. That if you drink alcohol while you are depressed, you will have your tensions gone and the depression goes away.

It is partly true because people do show a feeling of relaxation after drinking a small amount of alcohol. But his part truth doesn’t last on the long run. Alcohol makes your depression worse.

Although you may get aroused while drinking, on the long run, alcohol is a depressant and it reduces excitability by a lot which leads to further depression.

There will be worse symptoms in such people and their mind won’t work as freely as they used to. This is because of the toxins present in the alcohol and also due to the tension of getting away from the drinking habit.

So, basically, you have a situation which makes you anxious and there goes a chain of events that makes you further anxious and puts you in a deep depression.

How does alcohol induce depression?

It is quite explained now that depression can be caused by alcohol but knowing how is necessary. Here are some points that you may need to consider that will tell you how alcohol induces depression.

  • First of all, alcohol is a depressant type drug and its effect is self-explanatory.
  • If a person already has the problem of depression, drinking alcohol just helps in hiding the problem and it worsens the problem inside rather than treating it.
  • When people drink heavily and quite uncontrollably, they do a lot of stupid and weird things. They may commit crimes or some things that aren’t socially acceptable. This will lead him to become embarrassed later causing tensions and leading to depression.
  • Any individual who drinks a lot of alcohol will lose self-control when they are drinking. They also have a reduced decision-making capacity which keeps them at high risk of committing suicide as the loss in self-control and low decision-making capability doesn’t go well together.
  • The individual will have a lot of problems with their family, friends and any people at their work. They may not care about this while they are drunk but this becomes a reason to be depressed when he is not drinking.
  • We all know that alcohol is a toxin and it doesn’t do any good to your body. At least not when you drink more than you can handle or any human body can handle. As these toxins harm places in body and brain, you will not be able to handle the symptoms of depression.

This is a great question and pretty common question among people because it is clear that alcohol causes depression but not knowing what exactly causes depression is important.

First of all, you will need to know that alcohol causes depression and depression can also be a reason to drinking alcohol.

But it had been found that there are more people being affected by depression due to the effects of alcohol than there are people affected by depression leading to alcohol abuse.

NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) claims that depression can arise and increase when there is a battle going on with alcoholism. In effect to this, depression can cause more drinking habit and this becomes like a cycle.

You become depressed about your drinking habit and then you become depressed that you cannot control your drinking habit and so on. This chain goes on unless you have a plan to minimize this effect.

Alcohol causes depression quite on the medical level as well. Because the heart’s functioning doesn’t go well, the blood that passes through the brain doesn’t consist of enough oxygen and other important nutrients and consists of high amount of alcohol which is toxic.

This leads to confusion and stress in the brain. You have to think too hard even for the simplest of things and this gives you anxiety and ultimately leads to depression.

Also, your health deteriorates causing more problems of anxiety and stress. The tension about your health can also cause depression.

If you are experiencing depression because of alcohol abuse, you will notice an improvement in the depression problem after you have stopped drinking.

But do not try to stop drinking on your own because dealing with withdrawal symptoms can be really difficult.

Alcohol is after all the least likely thing to get you out of that depression and anxiety problem you are going through. Instead, what it will do is start a vicious cycle of alcoholism and more severe depression.

How does alcohol affect the circulatory system?

The circulatory system means the whole system of vessels like capillaries, veins and arteries and of course, blood including the heart. It is called so because blood is distributed (circulated) by the heart throughout the body via those blood vessels.

You might even have read about the positive effects claimed about alcohol on the circulatory system. It is not false. Studies in adults show that a glass of alcohol every day can help in your heart function.

Also if you are keeping the drinking habit in moderation, you will also notice the balance of blood-fat content and they will be in almost the best proportions.

This helps you in the long run because you actually lower the chances of getting stroke or heart attack because this helps in preventing the development of blood clots or blocked arteries

But alcohol is a toxic substance and more than one drink a day will cause you harm. The functioning of the heart is affected quite directly by the alcohol consumption.

When you drink more than you should, the blood consists of more alcohol than it should be making a composition of other nutrients in the blood less and this leads to malfunctioning of different organs.

Sometimes this causes the oxygen levels in the blood to go down and this can affect the organs because of lack of oxygen. Alcohol is also known to cause clogged blood vessels. This only makes the heart work harder with lot less efficiency.

You may have even noticed highly drinking people get red eyes and blotchy, red skin. This is the signs and symptoms that cells have damaged and there may be an inadequate amount of oxygen in the tissues. Blood vessels can even break causing in different kind of complications leading to death.

Signs of Alcohol depression

There are some certain signs of depression when you know that the alcohol you have been taking is not working on your side and has been doing harm to your body and specifically your mental health. So, below listed are some signs of alcohol depression which will help you notice the problem alcohol is causing and answer that ‘is alcohol a depressant’ question.

  • Hindrance in sleep: You may be deprived of sleep after you have consumed alcohol as alcohol causes difficulty to sleep. As sleep is a very important part of a person’s healthy well-being, it is a problem when you are deprived of sleep. So, if you are not being able to sleep after those shots of booze at a party, maybe that alcohol is acting as a toxic and leading you to depression.


  • Feeling of being tired: Alcohol is not one of those many drugs that make you hyperactive. It slowly takes all your motivation and energy down and makes you dizzy and tired. It is because of the symptoms of the hangover caused after you have taken alcohol and you may feel tired for a very long time. So, if you feel very tired after a drink maybe alcohol is causing you problems.


  • Low mood: Your mood gets a drastic change after you have been drinking a lot of alcohol. Generally, you can observe an alcoholic person and find out that they have a low mood and it takes a lot to cheer them up. In fact, it is quite difficult to cheer them up unless you are gifting them with liquor which is not such a good idea for getting the person out of an alcoholic problem. This is a clear sign of leading toward depression.


  • Anxiety in normal situations: Alcoholics are likely to feel uncomfortable while they are drunk in the most comfortable of situations and they will have anxiety. Even the situations where you are just doing your regular works like the job at your workplace, you will feel uncomfortable doing that work and you don’t take it as easy as you used to. Anxiety comes in together while talking about depression so this means alcohol really is a depressant.

Effects of Drinking while depressed

You should not drink at all if you are already depressed. If you drink at this condition also, you will see some complex symptoms like:

  • More depression- the depression gets worse
  • Mental problems
  • Relaxation at first but leading to anxiety
  • Worsening of health problems

What to do for Depression after drinking?

Here are some tips for you to get off of this depression after drinking problem.

  • Drink less than a drink per day for women.
  • Drink no more than two drinks a day for men who are under 65 years of age.
  • Only one drink a day for men over 65 years of age.
  • People having chronic diseases should not drink at all.

So is alcohol a depressant? Yes. It must be clear with all those signs and symptoms as well as the causes of the depression from alcohol that the intake of alcohol can really be a problem and you may have to consider it as a depressant and not as a drug that helps you through your problem.

This is because alcohol does no wonders in solving the problem and instead, it creates a lot of other problems such as more anxiety and other hangover symptoms that lead to depression.

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