why does alcohol enhance mood if it’s a depressant


The question is all contained in the title. I see how alcohol is a depressant when one is in a bad mood. But if one is feeling happy or silly or excited, or at least you’re open to feeling that way, how is it that alcohol can enhance that, if it’s a depressant?

In: Biology

It doesn’t make you depressed. It depresses the speed of neuronal firing- i.e. it slows down your reactions. The word depressant doesn’t refer to your mood

Depressant means it reduces the performance of your nervous system. You are happy but now you dodge the lamppost a second after you hit it.

The reason its called a depressant is due to the fact it depresses your CNS when you’re intoxicated. Not because of its effect on your mood or affect.
Basically, when you drink more and more, the more your motor function and conscious state gradually declines until the point where you pass out or end up in A&E with alcohol poisoning

Alcohol binds to receptors in your brain, called GABA receptors.

GABA stands for gamma aminobutrylic acid. GABA is one of four predominant neurotransmitters in your brain that affect your conscious state, the other 3 are serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine.

Different drugs bind to different receptors. Alcohol binds to GABA receptors. When it does this it inhibits them, as opposed to exciting them. This causes central nervous system depression.
When your central nervous system is depressed it is often easy to go to sleep and you have decreased electrical activity in your brain.

That being said, alcohol itself tends to intensify whatever emotion you’re currently feeling. Thats why angry people often get ridiculously angry with alcohol.

You might want to learn the actual definition of “depressant”. Depressant does not mean “it makes you depressed”.

Depressant is the opposite of stimulant. A stimulant is a drug which increases a given body function. So the opposite would be a drug that decreases a function.

The actual word used for a drug that makes you depressed is “depressogenic”. Which is the actual opposite of antidepressant drugs.