If you have depression and find that an alcoholic beverage actually “numbs” the pain, you’re not wrong. According to research, consumption of alcohol has the same type of chemical effects on the brain that antidepressants do, but in a much more rapid manner (although it is highly advised to not depend on this method, or to self-medicate).

The research for this was performed on animals in order to evaluate the effects of the alcohol, which provided similar results to what is seen in people. In turn, showing that alcohol does increase mood for a short span of time (around 24 hours due to the changes in brain chemistry). But, negative effects can be seen when alcohol and antidepressants are taken at the same time – such as increased sensitivity to alcohol and decreased mood.

Dr. Rabb-Graham, the studies author, states: “Additional research is needed in this area, but our findings do provide a biological basis for the natural human instinct to self-medicate. They also define a molecular mechanism that may be a critical contributor to the comorbidity that occurs with alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder.”