By Ed Philips
Alcohol plays a very significant part in our culture and is present in almost every type of social occasion. Although drinking in moderation doesn't harm us, drinking excessively has risen sharply over the last few years, and people not only start at a younger age, they also drink a lot more.
How does alcohol actually affect our brain? Well alcohol has something in common with most other drugs and this is that it affects our brain and we like it. Unfortunately our system becomes tolerant to small quantities of alcohol, so we start drinking larger quantities to maintain the same effect. The consequence being that we drink more and more to feel the same and there's nothing that is going to stop us from becoming an alcoholic.
Alcohol can also cause;
1) Dementia - Whereby we loose our memory, similar to Alzheimer's dementia. 2) Psychosis - Nasty as you begin to hear voices.
3) Dependence - if you stop drinking, you get withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, nervousness and (sometimes) seeing things that aren't there. 4) Suicide - 40% of men who try to kill themselves have had a long- standing alcohol problem. - 70% of those who succeed in killing themselves have drunk alcohol before doing so.
What is the connection between depression and alcohol? We know that there is a connection - self-harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. There is also evidence that alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain itself and that this increases the risk of depression. Another problem that arises is that regular drinking can make life depressing - family problems, poor work, unreliable memory and sexual problems.
Alcohol will also help us in forgetting our problems, although only temporarily. We will feel much more relaxed and more confident when it comes to socializing. It's an ideal tool for chatting and having fun and meeting other people, but once again this effect is only temporary....