Men Mental Health|CAN ALCOHOL REDUCE ANXIETY?

Can alcohol help in managing the anxiety symptoms? What is the relationship between anxiety and alcohol? Do people just wander around it to feel good or to find a solution to the specific issues at hand? In most cases, people suggest and conclude that they use alcohol to reduce stress or manage that particular monster in the head, or, as they put, just to ‘clear the head’. But, why do people rush to alcohol as a remedy for anxiety, depression, or stress?

The other day a friend of mine sent an online survey to a group WhatsApp on the pandemic, its impacts on education, and how it was affecting the mental health of the individuals. The answers were to be confidential, though one of the questions caught the attention of almost everyone from the group, the question was, I quote;

“Please mention three ways in which you are coping with anxiety caused by the uncertainty this pandemic”

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And, so it became an open question of discussion with everyone sending their preferred answers to the group. Most of the answers were more or less the same thing. But one caught my eye which was (eating, exercise and consuming alcohol).

However, I will not reveal my answers here because, one, having a background on psychology my answers might be biased as I did not mention that I pop corn and eat ice cream while anxious. Two, the answers were confidential and I still do not have my consent.

Let Us Understand Anxiety First.

Anxiety is quite a normal response to stress that is beneficial to some life situations in the sense that it at times alerts us to red lights thus helping us in preparation and paying attention. The emotion varies from the usual feelings of nervousness to excessive fear or anxiety. Among the mental health disorders, around 30% of adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders are very treatable, with several effective and right treatments and have helped most people get back to their normal lives. When you are in a position to differentiating anxiety from general fear, you will be in a position to manage it most of the time.

On the contrary, alcohol affects the nervous system which lies to you that it’s kind of managing your anxiety symptoms. Alcohol helps you in passing time, by making the anxiety disappear from your mind and not in reality.

Drinking Away Your Anxiety.

Using alcohol to reduce anxiety, stress or mental health disorders symptoms has not yet been recommended by anyone. The moment you start drinking when stressed or when not mentally stable, you start to de-focus from what is bothering you. You deviate your mind from solving the issues at hand and postpone them for some other time, making it even harder to embrace and manage your anxiety and stress.

How Does Alcohol Worsen Your Anxiety?

Alcohol has a reflective impact on the composite structures of the brain. it helps in blocking chemical signals between the neurons causing immediate symptoms of intoxication, slurred speech, slowed reflexes, impulsive behaviors, and poor memory. If drinking alcohol prolongs, your brain tends to adapt to the blocked signals by dramatically responding to neurotransmitters.

Next time you think of taking alcohol to suppress the animal within, remember it is better to solve the problem right away other than running away from your problems.

What Are The Signs That You Are Becoming Reliant On Alcohol?

Not able to quit alcohol intake

Dire need of an alcoholic drink whenever or before attending a social event

Intense alcohol intake for at least four days a week

Getting to drink alcohol before starting up your day

Can Alcohol Consumption Cause Anxiety?

Alcohol is the leading causing factor of dual diagnosis that is caused by the presence of an underlying mental health disorder alongside addiction to alcohol and other substances.

It is also a known fact that alcohol misuse does not only cause psychological health issues but also physical health.

Alcohol reliance puts you at risk of developing anxiety, depression, develop self-harm behaviors, become more violent, etc. alcohol is therefore not a cure to anxiety.

How Do You Lessen Your Anxiety?

Have a routine and be disciplined to follow it to the latter

Get enough sleep. The recommended sleep time for adults is 6 to 9 hours a day.

Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages as a remedy for your stress

Develop a habit of doing meditation and yoga consistently

Spare some time for recreational activities, remember work without play made Jack a dull boy.

Practice healthy eating and be more reliable

Remember to include exercise in your routine, more so the aerobic exercise.

You may also read more on Anxiety;

  1. Understanding Anxiety Disorder
  2. Coping With Anxiety Amid Pandemic
  3. Healthy Ways To Managing Anxiety and Boredom
  4. Drugs and Substance Abuse impact on Mental health 
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Men Mental Health| What Are Some Of The Common Men Mental Health Issues?

Culturally, men are known to remain in silence when they are suffering. More so due to social norms, upbringing, or even the role models presented to them in the early days of orientation. And for these and many more reasons, most of the men’s issues regarding mental health go unrecognized for a long time until it is late.

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From social dialogues we hear phrases like, ‘man up’, ‘accept and move on’, ‘pull up your socks’, meaning that the stressing issues should just be dismissed while in real sense they scotch from inside like acid. Mental health awareness is on the rise, but most men are not yet aware of the common issues that affect them.

 

 

Common Mental Health Issues Experienced By Men

Stress

Anyone can experience stressful situations that are relative from person to person. This is the feeling of being overwhelmed or pressure. In most cases, stress is experienced when there is an imbalance between what we are being asked to deliver and what we are capable of delivering or coping with these demands.

Stressful situations cause discomfort and distress can lead to the development of mental health issues in men such as depression and anxiety. Although stress in men is commonly associated with work life, it can originate from different life situations such as sporting life, family, or social fields.

When manageable, stress can be the drive to helping people to achieve and reach greater heights in life goals. This is the health stress. However, when it is too much to handle and we are unable to meet the expectations, or unable to deal with pressure and demands, then it becomes toxic.

Find out here different types of stresses:

 

Depression

This can be described as an intense feeling of sadness lasting for longer times than usual. It can last for weeks, months, or even years. Not only does it interfere with daily functioning but also physical health and general well-being.

Although depression can affect anyone of any age, older men are more prone to depression than women. Statistics also show that men are more likely to engage in unhealthy ways of fighting depression such as engaging in drugs and alcohol abuse, crimes self-harm behaviors, inflicting pain to others, and even suicidal.

Loneliness

The majority of us have been there, and now with the 2020 self-isolation thing, it makes us all have a rough idea of what loneliness can all be. But, only a few numbers do recognize the severity of isolation and loneliness can be. Loneliness commonly referred to as ‘social isolation’, contributes to a large portion of social illnesses such as substance abuse, violence, self-harm, and suicide.

Loneliness can happen when alone, with family or when surrounded by people; it is the primary feeling of sadness and lack of connection to the surrounding world (the feeling that you do not belong and no one understands you).

 

Anxiety

Although most people tend to normalize and dismiss anxiety as a feeling of being nervous and worried, it is a serious issue that affects your daily functioning. It can equate to a large impact on your physical and mental health.

Equip yourself on anxiety here:

What good news do we have for men’s mental health?

The good part is, most of the mental health issues affecting men are successfully treatable. The other thing is, there is plenty of information regarding these common issues that affect men daily that include different techniques and strategies to cope and recover.

Everyone goes through such situations from time to time; the only thing that can help is when you are aware of the red flags and taking a step of seeking help as early as possible. This can be the contact that you trust; – a close family member or a friend.