People who live with a behavioral health issue tend to also be dealing with at least one other. An example being people will frequently experience both anxiety and depression at the same time, and the symptoms of these disorders are exasperated when experienced together.
That logic also applies to alcohol use in conjunction with other behavioral health disorders. Developing a behavioral health issue such as bipolar disorder or depression is up to six times more likely if you are already dependent on alcohol.
Behavioral health disorders and alcohol use feed into each other, amplifying the struggle of living with both. Alcohol use is a common coping method for dealing difficult times as a result of a different behavioral disorder. However, behavioral health symptoms are often worsened by alcohol’s effect on our hormones, body, and behavior.
Try some of these tips to cut back or cut out alcohol if you’re concerned that your drinking habits might be impacting your mood.
|To cut out alcohol:||To cut back on drinking:|
|Find another way to cope with stress. Try exercising, talking with a friend, or finding a creative outlet rather than reaching for a drink when you have a bad day or something stressful is weighing on you.||Set a limit for yourself and record how many drinks you consume each week. Logging this into your phone is helpful if you are trying to be discreet about your goals.|
|Avoid situations that are triggers for you. If you have friends with whom you usually go to a bar, invite them out for coffee instead.||Alternate between non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks in social situations. You’ll stay more hydrated and may feel less conspicuous around companions who may be drinking more than you.|
|Don’t store alcohol at home, and if you live with others who drink, ask them if they could help support you in your mission to get healthier.||Choose days to stay sober. Then choose a reward for yourself after meeting your goal – just make sure the reward isn’t a drink!|
It might be time to seek professional assistance if it’s tough to alter your alcohol consumption on your own.
It’s imperative that someone who is struggling with numerous behavioral health disorders receives help for each simultaneously – or recovery will be much more difficult. Take a free online screening to get insight at HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org if you think that you or a loved one might have a substance abuse problem or other behavioral health disorder.