Fading Affect Bias-Explains My Worst Fears

Will I drink again? I never want to forget the reasons I quit.

Patty McMahon, M.Ed
6 min readMar 6, 2022


Book Review: Alcohol Explained By William Porter

Photo by Jesús Rocha on Unsplash

When we were teenagers, you may have heard that alcohol is bad in health class. Basic things like, it’s a depressant, or it’s not good for your organs. You may have stayed away from it in high school. But then, you turned 21, and a whole world of drunken-related shenanigans became your joyful moments of life — the icing on the cake.

And then, time reared on, and you still found yourself drinking. You got older. Party life got slower until you found yourself binge-watching mommy’s shows on the couch late into the night. If you say, “yup, sounds familiar,” then you and I lived similar lifestyles.

You, like me, have forgotten the lessons from that health class. Thinking back now, I am not even sure what my health teacher taught me exactly, but I know it didn’t include a discussion about brain chemistry.

So, let’s refresh our memory.

William Porter’s book Alcohol Explained shares the truth of what alcohol does to your mind and body. Here are some major keep points.

What sticks out to me:

  1. Alcohol is a depressant and eventually dulls our senses making us feel joyless.
  2. Drinking alcohol triggered our reward system (dopamine) unnaturally. This makes it difficult to feel joy naturally.
  3. The repeated use of alcohol impacts your subconscious.
  4. The moment we drink, our body responds with anxiety. The more you drink, the more anxious you become.
  5. Fading Affect Bias- after some distance, you start to forget what it was like and perhaps begin focusing on the ‘good’ or ‘pleasurable’ aspects.

Throughout all the chapters, it seems William Porter wants to remind readers that alcohol is a depressant and dulls our senses. It doesn’t make us excited or feel good. It is an anesthetic. A slew of other chemicals is excreted through our body to alleviate the withdrawal of alcohol, even after one drink. This system becomes taxed over time, leaving us feeling depressed, anxious, and…



Patty McMahon, M.Ed

Mother. Wife. Lover. Writing about alcohol free living and other daily insights on life as it happens. https://linktr.ee/pmacinsights

Recommended from Medium


See more recommendations