4 Self-Sabotaging Emotional Effects of Alcohol


Alcohol wreaks havoc on the emotional state of any individual. Whether you’re a one-time user, substance abuser or have crossed the line into chemical dependency, alcohol has a noticeable negative impact. And, all too often, that impact shows up in the form of self-sabotage.

Sure, alcohol might temporarily impose a state of relaxation; it might even lighten the mood. For some, it seemingly creates a state of joy, typically referred to as a “happy drunk.” Still, for these populations of drinkers, there are occasional, potentially life-altering negative effects.

Whether you’re a one-time user, substance abuser or have crossed the line into chemical dependency, alcohol has a noticeable negative impact.

1. Anger/Rage

Though not everyone experiences anger or rage when consuming alcohol, the substance can certainly have that effect on some. In fact, there are multiple accounts from survivors of abuse who state that their abusers were typically drunk or drinking during abusive events.

2. Sadness/Depression

Although anger and rage are not as common for all drinkers, sadness and/or depression are generally experienced at some point when alcohol consumption is involved. The reason for this is plain and simple: alcohol is a depressant. As such, it depresses the central nervous system, throwing a well-balanced brain out of balance and causing a depressed emotional state.

Still, alcohol is typically the go-to for breakups, grief or loss of any kind (loss of employment, relationship, life, etc.), Unfortunately, it only serves to worsen the pain and advance any pre-existing state of depression, both circumstantial or clinical.

Moreover, the overuse of alcohol and alcoholism can cause a chemical imbalance in an otherwise well-balanced individual, leading to clinical depression, regardless of any genetic predisposition.

3. Careless/Reckless

Though alcohol can have a euphoric effect on some, that state of euphoria is often met with a sense of carelessness or even recklessness—for example, the “happy drunk” who falls down laughing while dancing on a table and breaks his/her hand, or the inebriated individual who believes they are capable of driving until they are either cited or crash.

So, though an individual seems to be in a joyous and fun-loving mood as a result of alcohol consumption, the degree to which that individual becomes uninhibited can present its own set of self-sabotaging possibilities.

4. Invincibility/Bulletproof

Along with a lack of inhibition, most individuals who consume alcohol—especially that which constitutes as more than moderate drinking—experience a feeling of invincibility or the sense of being bulletproof.

Certainly, this particular emotional effect can have devastating and even tragic consequences for a far greater number of people than just the alcohol-consuming individual.

Though every individual is indeed unique and, therefore, their personal experience with alcohol (or any substance) may vary, the fact remains that some degree of emotional impact will be experienced with its consumption. Regardless of whether that impact is considered negative or positive, the potential for any of the aforementioned emotional effects to take place is not only possible but probable with each decision to drink, and the odds for self-sabotaging events to take place increase.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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