In a recent study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers from the University of Nottingham found that alcohol consumption is correlated with poorer mental health in people with mental health disorders.
“The study examined the effects of alcohol consumption on mental health and found that it is a significant risk factor for the development of mental health problems and alcohol-related problems in people in mental health conditions,” Dr. Richard Taylor, lead author of the study and a psychiatrist, said in a press release.
The study also found that people who reported having been drinking alcohol were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety and more likely than others to have suffered from mood disorders, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.
The authors theorized that people drinking alcohol have a reduced capacity to regulate the amount of alcohol they consume and that the effect of alcohol on mental functioning may also be related to a reduced ability to control their drinking.
In addition to the researchers, the paper also included a review article by a group of experts in the field, which concluded that “the results are consistent with the hypothesis that alcohol may play a role in the development and exacerbation of psychiatric disorders, particularly those associated with alcohol consumption.”
While there’s a good chance that the results will be replicated, the research still doesn’t support the idea that drinking alcohol increases one’s likelihood of developing mental health issues.
Still, the fact that alcohol is linked to mental health is no reason to ban the beverage.
Drinking a glass of wine or vodka, for instance, may be good for your health, but there’s no reason that you should limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol use is not linked to health problems, although it does appear to have an effect on some people’s mental health.
For example, a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that among people who used alcohol at least weekly, they were more than twice as likely to have mental health symptoms than those who did not.
And another study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that there was a correlation between drinking alcohol and anxiety.
“Research suggests that alcohol intake, particularly moderate alcohol intake that is not excessive, can be beneficial to individuals’ mental health,” Taylor said in the press release about the new study.
“However, there are a number of health concerns that can be associated with heavy alcohol consumption, including cardiovascular risk, liver disease, and respiratory tract disease.”
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