Alcoholism is as an addiction to the consumption of, and a dependency on alcohol.
When someone is suffering from alcohol abuse, they will continue to drink even though they know their drinking is causing problems. This leads to alcohol dependence and alcoholism; a mental addiction to alcohol.
You crave a drink and you continue to drink; despite knowing the complications.
Addiction can come from harmful drinking; a pattern of alcohol consumption causing health problems directly related to alcohol. Alcohol addiction is characterised more strongly by a preoccupation with drinking; addicts crave alcohol, building up a tolerance and continuing to drink despite knowing the harmful consequences.
For these reasons, alcoholics often act in secret, hiding it from those who could help them.
Signs you may be able to notice if you look a little further than just spotting someone physically drinking can include a change in emotional state, a deterioration in health and a change in attitude.
Someone who is developing an alcohol addiction may become uninterested in their hobbies or in socialising, they may also appear more tired, to be ageing faster or generally looking less healthy.
Their outlook may change, they’re likely to become more secretive to hide their addiction and may also show signs of anxiety or depression. Both can be a cause or a side effect.
Alcohol, as a drug, is a depressant. It works against the chemical balance in our minds and can affect our thoughts and feelings. An alcoholic is more susceptible to these effects and, due to the quantity of consumption, they are more likely to develop a long-term disorder.
Feeling relaxed when drinking is due to the chemical changes that alcohol makes in the brain, it depresses the feelings we associate inhibitions, making the drinker feel less anxious and more confident. This is seen as a short-term benefit to drinking but as the drinker consumes larger quantities, and more regularly, larger areas of the brain become affected. This can result in a negative emotional response taking over, alcohol consumption at this level is linked to aggressive behaviour, anxiety and depression.
There are ways to combat these effects.
Alcoholism often stems from wanting a sense of relief from stress, exercise is recommended as a healthy alternative. Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress levels; taking part in a class or a weekly sport can create a sense of belonging or purpose, a positive feeling for anyone struggling with stress or depression.
Meditation and breathing techniques are also recommended for mental health, particularly anxiety.
Finally, it’s important to come to terms with alcoholism. Be aware of your drinking and try and think of reasons as to why this may be. Many addicts relapse due to their arrogance and failing to acknowledge that they should seek support from a trusted body such as harmony rehab. It may help to talk to someone to come to a conclusion that you can move forward from.