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The Direct Connection Between Alcoholism and Mood Swings

a person experiences Alcoholism mood swings and it is shown by a man superimposed screaming and leaning back

Alcoholism, more commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder, is known for its ability to alter your everyday thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. For some people, these changes include mood instability, i.e., mood swings. What is the connection between mood swings and alcoholism? The answer to this question is somewhat complex. However, one thing is clear. An effective alcohol detox and rehab program can help you recover from alcoholism and can also help stabilize your mood and overall mental health.

Alcohol and Mood Swings

Alcohol use can have multiple effects on your typical mood. It may have a calming or relaxing effect when consumed in small amounts. It can also:

  • Elevate your mood
  • Make you feel less fearful
  • Decrease feelings of shyness

However, excessive alcohol consumption can have the opposite impact. Specifically, it can make you feel unusually tense or anxious.

Drinking can also make your overall mood less stable. Research shows that the more alcohol you regularly consume, the greater your risk for significant mood swings. What about the connection between alcohol and mood swings in people affected by alcoholism? This chronic brain disease also increases your chances of experiencing an unstable mood.

The Connection Between Alcohol Use, Alcoholism, and Mood Swings

Why does alcohol use and alcoholism heighten your risks for mood instability? The answer to this question appears to be rooted in genetics. Certain inherited traits can make you more susceptible to mood swings if you regularly drink large amounts of alcohol. These traits play the same role in people affected by alcoholism. But be aware that you don’t have to be affected by alcoholism to run into symptoms. Heavy alcohol consumption itself seems to be the more significant risk factor. That’s true whether or not you have diagnosable alcoholism.

Alcoholism and Mood Disorders

If you drink heavily, alcoholic mood swings are not your only mood-related concern. Studies show that many people with diagnosable alcohol problems also have a mood disorder. Mood disorders are a group of mental health conditions that seriously alter your everyday mood. This category includes major depression and all other depressive illnesses, including all varieties of bipolar disorder.

What is the connection between alcoholism and mood disorders? There is no single answer to this question. Instead, there are multiple potential explanations, including:

  • Certain risk factors common to both mood disorders and alcoholism
  • The practice of self-medicating a mood disorder by drinking alcohol
  • The potential of alcoholism to lead to other serious mental health issues

By itself, bipolar disorder is known for its ability to trigger significant mood swings. If you’re affected by alcoholism, your drinking may increase your risk for these mood changes.

Co-Occurring Disorders

The combination of alcoholism and a mood disorder is an example of a co-occurring disorder. This term means that people with this condition have a diagnosable substance problem and a separate, diagnosable mental illness. Treatment plans for co-occurring disorders must help you overcome each of these issues. Otherwise, they are likely to fail.

Get More Information on Alcoholism and Mood Swings at Northpoint Colorado

Want to learn more about alcoholic mood swings? Talk to the addiction specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We’re standing by to provide more details on the connection between alcoholism and mood swings and to explain the many other dangers of untreated alcoholism.
Do you or your loved one need help with alcohol use? Northpoint Recovery provides a full slate of detox and rehab services. With our help, you can begin to restore your sense of stability and well-being. To get started, call us today at 888.231.1281. You can also reach us by filling out our online form.