The deadly combination of Mental Health & Alcohol Use Disorder

It happened with Ajay with a dramatic experience about four years ago, the culmination of a bipolar episode. He became obsessed, scared and didn't sleep. Mainly, binge drinking was the main reason behind his mental health. Every time he felt that the Secret police is behind him. He ended up driving in his mom’s car around a race track. Police followed him as well as quite rightly arrested and sectioned him. It was a very difficult experience getting himself back on his feet.

He was sectioned in age 17 and 19 as well and he thinks for the same condition and similar experiences. He thinks that from age 19 to 36 when he got into recovery, he medicated his bipolar again with alcohol and one thing fuelled the other. All joined together to make a big mess.

Life was difficult for him and, of course, very much so for those around him. He learned to forgive himself for that and anybody that suffers from alcohol use disorder or mental health should learn to do so because they are illnesses. His daily experience is that even when he is well, he is too much in the fast lane or not in any lane.

He is either binge drinking or none at all. He is either sending a million emails or none. It's like a daily mini version of the dramatic episodes which ended in hospitalization and weeks recuperating in bed.

The effects of AUD on brain

Today alcohol is the second most abused substance in the world following nicotine. But what occurs inside the brain of those suffering from AUD? It is currently understood that chronic alcohol consumption is associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines in both the peripheral and central nervous system.

Alcohol induces an inflammatory response in the brain which increases the thickness and length of microglia the immune cells of our nervous system. Thus they become activated and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that unfortunately result in neurodegeneration.