The Link Between Anger and Alcoholism

We’ve put up these two internal walls, and our emotional energy is trapped. When we have that internal wall between us and our anger, that’s when we start to experience depression. Many of us got messages as children that it was not nice or it was not good to feel or express anger. The first thing that happens is that we get a ton of messages that say that we are not allowed to express or feel our anger. This might not feel as intuitive, but one of the reasons that our hurts persist so tenaciously is because there is a part of us that wants them to be healed.

  • Unable to control your drinking – you crave a drink every day and when you start you find it difficult to stop.
  • If you’d like to learn more about our addiction recovery treatment programs, or how we can help you overcome anger management issues, contact us today.

Over time, alcohol also changes the brain chemistry which can lead to even more mental health problems which, in turn, can lead to the person needing to drink more and more to deal with it all. One UK study found that 43% of people with a mental health problem also suffered from alcoholism. When alcoholism begins to progress, and when there are mounting consequences, the alcoholic finds himself/herself in a dilemma that’s usually right below the level of full consciousness. Internally, the alcoholic feels the need to continue drinking because, to the alcoholic, alcohol is what holds things together, and without alcohol things fall apart. The alcoholic denies alcohol is causing problems and blames alcohol related consequences on others, thus building up anger when confronted about drinking.

Effects of alcoholism on the body

People are more likely to respond to emotional triggers when they are drinking, but for the angry drunk, even the slightest hint of offense could be cause for a fight. If you’ve ever started or been involved in a drunken altercation, try to reflect on what happened and how the situation could have been handled better. As a result, we’re often left with a desire to consume alcohol again and continue the production of these high dopamine levels. This can lead to a condition alcoholism and anger called tolerance, in which our brain requires higher levels of the same substance to achieve the original effect. Once we’ve reached tolerance, it’s very easy for us to become addicted to the substance, leading us to make risky or dangerous decisions to further our consumption. Understanding why people struggling with alcoholism are so often angry, emotional, and depressed requires understanding how chronic alcohol use affects the brain on a physical and chemical level.

  • The first principle is that whenever we feel anger, there is a hurt that’s present that underlies that anger.
  • Plenty of people are friendly as can be when sober, but when they drink, they become mean and hurtful.
  • If a health professional has diagnosed you with anger management problems, you may find these get worse when you drink.
  • This could possibly be a result of an underlying issue or the fact that they have something on their mind that is making them angry.
  • Your loved one may be at the point where they have lost control over their drinking – which in turn means they have lost control on their anger.
  • If you see someone cut in front of you in line for the bathroom at a bar or concert, you may react aggressively when you otherwise wouldn’t mind.

The findings were explained by emphasizing that concern for the future involves greater prefrontal cortex resources that help inhibit the excessive impact of alcohol. Another study explored the relationship between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder , alcohol use, and violence (Blakey et al., 2018). This was a massive study of 33,215 individuals with no history of active military combat. An increase in anger after trauma and the use of alcohol to cope with PTSD symptoms were stronger predictors of physically aggressive or violent acts than a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD without anger.

Alcohol Recovery at FHE Health

An anger problem arises when we express our natural anger in ways that are harmful or unproductive in solving the dilemmas at hand. The important thing is to trace the steps back from your outburst and identify what sets you off. Many drinkers have at one point considered whether they should stop drinking altogether. For alcoholics, that question may come up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

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