The Link Between Anger and Alcoholism

Once we’ve named it and acknowledged that we experience anger—and that it is completely okay and normal to do so—we can work on managing it. First and foremost, anger isn’t an emotion we openly talk about or learn to deal with in healthy ways. Culturally, anger is seen as dangerous and off-putting, even though it is a completely normal and natural emotion. This is especially true for women and people of color—particularly Black women. So, remember that when you don’t express your anger and when you don’t express your hurt – when you cut yourself off from those feelings – that’s when you start the addictive cycle. If you’ve ever experienced a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear then you’re familiar with the feeling of having a panic attack.

Anger management can be done to complement your alcohol abuse treatment. You will be taught skills that can aid you in controlling your response to circumstances. The first step is recognizing the problem, and in order alcoholism and anger to conquer that problem it is important to know what you are up against. For some this is because they tend to suppress their anger when they are sober so they act out more when they are drunk, according to studies.

How Does Alcoholism Develop Over Time?

According to research compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol use is a considerable contributing factor to sexual assault. Similarly, in nearly 40% of violent incidents, surveyed individuals from the United Kingdom said they believed their perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol. While drinking alcohol isn’t the sole reason for assault, it plays a substantial role in whether someone commits a violent crime. When it comes to anger specifically, people may experience a phenomenon called “alcohol myopia” in addition to their already heightened emotions. This scenario involves losing your sense of perception under the influence. As a result, you may be overly aggressive during a situation where you’d otherwise notice the cues that tell you to think more rationally.

  • They say that the best way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior.
  • Drinking gives us lowered inhibitions and causes us to engage in some less-than-stellar behavior.
  • The journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology reports on studies showing that alcohol can increase aggression in both men and women, but more so in men.
  • Here’s how to get started navigating and dealing with anger in early recovery.
  • The cycle continues until the addiction spirals out of control even more.
  • It feels very, very scary when you’re hyperventilating and you can’t breathe, but it’s helpful to look at this and remember that panic is just accelerated up anxiety.

Alcohol may intensify aspects of an individuals’ existing personality. Simply put, people who are usually argumentative when they are sober may be more likely to initiate a fight or become aggressive when drunk. Another research study, conducted in Finland, took an approach that considered the genetics of individuals and how their makeup may make them more prone to aggression when under the influence of alcohol. These researchers questioned 156 participants on their alcohol history and personality traits.

Why “Am I an Alcoholic?” Is the Wrong Question

Alcohol makes it difficult for people to drive safely or attempt any other high-risk activities that require physical coordination. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance, coordination, and other movement-related activities. When affected by alcohol, a person may have issues with their balance and could suffer from frequent falls. There’s an old image that often comes to mind when we think of alcoholics—it’s usually either giddy and silly, maybe even dim-witted, or mean and angry.

“Gathering your power before you respond to anger takes awareness and restraint. Admittedly, it’s hard to surrender the need to be right in favor of love and compromise. But, little by little, surrendering these reflexive instincts is a more compassionate, evolved way to get your needs met and keep relationships viable if and when it’s possible.” ~Dr. Judith Orloff As Dr. Orloff points out, overpowering anger is extremely difficult.

Anger and Alcohol Risk Factors

It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery. If you are someone who has problems in controlling your temper, alcohol is the last thing you need. Nevertheless, your alcoholism and anger problems can be addressed by a reputable alcohol addiction rehabilitation center.

The body adapts to having certain alcohol levels, and after a while, if the level of alcohol is not maintained, it is physically painful. In the case of alcohol addiction, withdrawal can be deadly if not medically assisted. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing.

Additionally, when we drink, we have a harder time correctly identifying others’ emotions. A recent study showed that participants had trouble correctly identifying anger, stress, sadness, and anxiety in others after drinking. If aggression has become part of your relationship, it’s time to get the help you need to recover from your addiction.

why are alcoholics so angry

Many have unresolved feelings of anger, frustration, or rage before they reach for alcohol. Additionally, it’s common for people to self-medicate with alcohol, thinking that drinking will numb those feelings or allow them to forget – if only for one evening. The mood someone is in when they begin drinking is often the mood that will be intensely felt once they’ve reached a level of intoxication. That, paired with the way people make decisions when they’re drinking, is often a recipe for disaster.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *