Having a drink here and there can relax the body. Having one too many can cause all kinds of havoc. If you aren’t an alcoholic, you will wake up the next morning and think, “Wow, I will never do that again!” If you reach for another drink, you may be on your way to a drinking problem.
Should you find yourself pouring a drink every time you feel down, or anxious, it will boost your spirits…for a small amount of time. Then as the alcohol wears off, or as you go over your body’s limit, the depression or anxiety will return, sometimes worse. Alcohol is a quick fix for feeling bad. But it is a short-lived fix. It will turn on you.
There are a few emotional problems that can lead to alcoholism if you aren’t aware. Reaching for that drink is not going to make the emotions go away forever. The alcohol will mask the problem for an hour or two, but that is all. The damage that can be done by drinking too much far outweighs the problems you suffer from emotionally.
Approximately 6.7% of the American population suffers from a depressive disorder. It is the largest emotional problem out there. Depression can affect anyone at any time. It is nothing to be ashamed of; at one time or another everyone is depressed. This is just depression that you can’t seem to shake. The best way to deal with depression is to see a doctor. There are medications that can help you deal with everyday problems, and these are a ton better in doing so than reaching for that cocktail. If you are on medication already, and find yourself hitting the bottle, you need to let your doctor know. Medication and alcoholism are a deadly combination. You may need to increase or change your medication.
Anxiety problems sometimes go hand in hand with depression. With one you often find the other, but not always. If you suffer from any type of anxiety: Generalized anxiety, OCD, panic attacks or phobias, you are more prone to alcoholism. Alcohol can sometimes make you feel like you are relaxed, so if you are uptight from anxiety, it will reverse the feeling of the anxiety. However, the anxiety can come back even worse when the alcohol starts to wear off. This may cause you to drink more. The process will repeat.
Premenstrual Disorders (PMDD/PMS)
For women, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome can cause alcoholism. At the times when the hormones are causing extreme symptoms, it is easy to reach for alcohol to help numb your feelings. You will need to let your gynecologist in on how you are feeling a few weeks before your period. Track the information to show to them, as there are medications and self-soothing methods that can help better than alcohol.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Those that suffer from post traumatic stress disorder often turn to alcoholism to get away from their feelings. They have gone through an event that was devastating, and alcohol makes the memories and feelings go away, if just for a bit. When the alcohol wears off, the feelings are back. Alcohol is not a good way to deal when you have post traumatic stress disorder. A better way would be to speak with others that have gone through similar situations. It is sometimes hard to talk about what you went through. But speaking of it, no matter how scary and bad, will help you to heal.
If you suffer from an emotional disorder, and feel that alcoholism offers the best way to relieve the stress from your disorder, please reach out for help. Alcoholism is not the answer. It can lead to worse problems down the road. Be aware that no one will belittle you or look down on your for searching for an answer. There are people out there that can help. They are just a phone call away.