People consume alcohol for different reasons: Because it is “normal” at certain celebrations and is part of socializing, because they are under peer pressure or because they want to drive away negative feelings and be in a better mood. But you can actually feel better for a short time if you Drink alcohol? A scientific team took up this question.
Drink alcohol & feel better?
A research team examined 110 men and women between the ages of 18 and 45 to find out whether their well-being is improved, at least for a short time, when people drink alcohol.
The result: Anyone who consumed alcohol to improve an anxious or moody mood was also convinced that the drink alleviated negative feelings. However, direct questions and answers about the state of health showed a different result. Depressive feelings increased even after consuming alcohol (via spectrum).
“The results of the study show that people who drink alcohol to cope with negative emotions in their daily life report drinking-related relief of uncomfortable feelings or symptoms, but their momentary changes in negative emotions show no improvement.”
According to Andrea Wycoff et al.
However, if negative emotions worsen, why do people feel that alcohol is helping them? According to the researchers, expectations and wishful thinking played a major role in this. In addition, there are actual effects of alcohol: The drink can reduce physical pain, for example.
This is how the study went
The 110 men and women surveyed stated that they drink alcohol at least once a week and do not want to reduce this consumption. In addition, half of the people studied had borderline personality disorder.
The participants were asked to keep a kind of diary on an electronic assistant for three weeks. They were asked to answer different questions at seven randomly determined times a day. In addition, the test subjects received four further surveys over a period of four hours as soon as they stated that they had drunk alcohol. Among other things, they should provide information about their current emotions there. Questions included, for example, “Are you nervous right now?” Or “Are you feeling down?”
More interesting information about alcohol
According to a study, you can identify alcoholics with just 2 questions. Here you can find out what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol. And that’s what alcohol does to your brain cells.
Sources: Spectrum, study “Real-time reports of drinking to cope: Associations with subjective relief from alcohol and changes in negative affect” (Journal Of Abnormal Psychology, 2021)
If you are an alcohol addict and are looking for help, you can find hotlines and telephone advice centers here:
- Addiction and drug hotline (nationwide and around the clock): 01806 313031 (20 cents / call from the landline network, 60 cents / call from the cellular network)
- BZgA info phone for addiction prevention: 0221 892031 (Price according to the price list of your telephone provider for calls to the German landline network): Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- You can find help online at the Federal Center for Health Education or Alcoholics Anonymous.