Home > NewsRelease > Alcohol Fails for Mental Health Issues and Can Bring on Cancer
Alcohol Fails for Mental Health Issues and Can Bring on Cancer
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Monday, October 30, 2023


Mental health issues may drive people to alcohol abuse, but instead of helping, it increases the problems and may destroy health in the process.

Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

Alcohol, that oil that greases and releases the wheels of inhibition and inserts poison into our bodies, continues to be a killer of the mind and a wrecker of the body. Still, each year, millions worldwide hear its siren song and are drawn to it in the hope that it will provide succor from emotional pain in a world spinning as never before.

Globally an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women suffer from alcohol-use disorders with the highest prevalence among men and women in the European region (14.8% and 3.5%) and the Region of Americas (11.5% and 5.1%). Alcohol-use disorders are more common in high-income countries.”

Many people view alcohol as a method to momentarily escape their troubles or soothe their nerves, and they utilize it as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. But this might set off a risky cycle in which drinking relieves tension and anxiety temporarily before eventually making things worse.

In an effort to self-medicate, depressed people may resort to alcohol in the hopes that it may improve their mood or offer momentary solace from their melancholy. Alcohol is unfortunately a depressant, which means that it can exacerbate depression symptoms and raise the possibility of suicide ideation.

Another unfortunate aspect of alcohol use is that it can help people feel more at ease in social settings by lowering inhibitions and boosting confidence. But depending too much on alcohol for social connection can have negative effects on mental health and result in dependency. But alcohol use can also affect other aspects of our lives.

Alcohol consumption is a common way for those with sleep difficulties to fall asleep more quickly. Although alcohol seems like a quick fix, it throws off the sleep cycle and can cause chronic sleep issues. I met a very famous actor who admitted to me that he had to drink a bottle of wine every night in order to get to sleep. He prided himself on his wine collection and neglected to consider its deleterious effects.

Alcoholism is a common way for those who have gone through highly disturbing experiences to try to block out painful memories and flashbacks. But this can impede appropriate recovery and exacerbate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder may drink alcohol to try to reduce their increased energy and agitation, which can result in impulsive and dangerous behaviors.

Alcohol consumption by those who are experiencing emotions of loneliness and isolation might make them feel momentarily more connected to others or sociable, which can exacerbate social difficulties and lead to dependency. For this reason, we find individuals with social anxiety disorder particularly vulnerable to excessive alcohol use.

It’s important to stress that although alcohol may provide short-term respite, it eventually makes these mental health problems worse and frequently results in a vicious cycle of dependency and declining mental health. More successful approaches to addressing these issues include promoting healthy coping strategies, getting professional assistance, and receiving support from mental health professionals.

We now know that not only does alcohol negatively affect mental health, but it may have more serious consequences related to physical health, such as its relationship to cancer. One research analysis indicated that it is one of the ten leading risk factors for major disease problems, such as cancer.

Worldwide, alcohol is viewed as being responsible for about four percent of new cancer cases. One of the hurdles to addressing this issue is that global awareness remains dismally low with regard to this connection. One expert estimated that six drinks daily account for 47% of cancers that can be attributed to alcohol.

Reputable resources like the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) can offer more information on these subjects and the intricate connection between alcohol consumption and a range of mental health problems. Anyone who believes they may have a problem with alcohol use is advised to seek a consultation with a dedicated mental health professional with considerable experience in the field. Also, consider support groups run by nationally known organizations.

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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