As we all know alcoholism in a lay man’s language is dependency for alcohol. Occasional intake of alcohol is not termed as alcoholism, but chronic and a religious intake of the same is termed as alcoholism. It disrupts the mental and the physical stability of the victim along with its social as well as work life balance which also gets disturbed. It is rightly said that alcoholism gives birth to physical as well as psychological addiction. It is thus an alcohol abuse wherein a person cannot get control over oneself after consuming the same (Burke, 2015). Unfortunately, alcohol is a slow poison so much that the alcoholic denies to the fact that he is addicted to the same and he is facing issues. However consumption of alcohol becomes abusive specially when signs, such as a person cannot spend a day without consuming alcohol, becomes dependent on alcohol to deal with his problems or continues to consume the same even being well aware of the consequences and effects it has. The said report highlights upon the effects and impact of alcoholism on the psychology of the alcoholic as well as the suggested treatment for the same.
A person becomes addicted to hard drinks for various reasons. Some of them are being discussed here however the reasons may be far more than described. Various researches have proved that the cause of alcoholism varies from person to person. The said disease is person specific. Causes for alcoholism are basically psychological. People at times have this mentality that if they do not consume alcohol, then they are not welcomed in the corporate world by their seniors and this may hamper their career. Thus one of the most profound reasons for alcoholism amongst individuals is social acceptability which gradually leads to dependence for lifelong.
Brain is another area which is the most effected due to excessive consumption of alcohol. The chemicals of the brain start to change, specifically those cells which encourage one to accept such an act. More strikingly it also impacts the pleasure cells of the brain due to which addiction is very easy since the individual feels that in order to relax the anxiety level, he/she should indulge into consumption of liquor excessively. Thus they fail to understand that alcohol will only help to soothe the brain temporarily and they fail to find out permanent and healthy solutions to their problems. However it is very crucial to know that the reason behind a person to become alcoholic and what effect will have on them varies case wise (Berman et.al. 1997). The main reason for a person to become alcoholic is the chemical change that occurs in the brain.
Peer pressure is another very important cause of alcoholism and its effects are very dangerous. Until and unless a person is of a very strong will power and principles, he tends to give up to the pressure put in by his/her friends to consume at least one drink and that gives the person immense pleasure that he automatically gets attracted towards consuming further. They eventually develop a psychology that it feels good after having that one drink and thus finally lead to consumption of alcohol on a daily basis, making it a tool for relieving stress (Bradshaw. 2014).
Some cultures invite alcohol as a part of their tradition and hold close it as a return for a successful achievement. People belonging to that culture if do not consume alcohol then they are not welcomed wholeheartedly by their community. This psychology destroys the brains of those who do not have the capacity to behold themselves after consuming even one drink.
Because of the above mentioned causes of alcoholism, it is well understood that alcohol destroys the ability of a person to realise one’s own goals and aims of life. It is one of the main reasons for domestic violence in a house and thus impacts the family negatively. They develop a psychology that they can never be wrong and those who say that they are incorrect, they misbehave or abuse them (Edwards, 2015).
Depression- a psychological disorder has been considered as one of the reasons of alcoholism amongst individuals. Individuals who portray various kinds of moods after being drunk are basically struggling through depression. A person may consume alcohol to fight with depression caused due to inability to cope up with the current scenario and in the same manner an alcoholic may behave in a depressed manner due to excessive consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption on a daily basis causes immense change in the behavioural pattern of a person and that too in the negative sense. How the brain of a person works will determine the behaviour as well as alcohol has a direct implication on an individuals’ personality and emotional quotient. Alcohol has ethanol and it has the capability to shift encephalin and endorphins therefore leading to an increased urge for consuming alcohol. From the psychological point of view, the addicts tolerance level gets reduced significantly and he becomes highly impatient and irrational (Henman, 2008). He prefers to stay in isolation away from everybody and develops an aura of negativity for oneself.
Due to increased consumption there seems to be a dialogue which takes place between the psychological changes and the psychological defences due to an emotional turbulence is created in the consumer’s mind, irresponsible and selfishness. These traits may seem like that of a small child but the truth is that uncontrolled consumption of alcohol disrupts the mind so much that the person behaves like an immature kid. The alcoholics continuously utilise the psychological defences of denying to perform a task and running away from reality. It ultimately not only has a psychological impact on the alcoholic but also his near and dear ones.
The most unfortunate impact is on the opposite behaviour a person possesses. Most of the people who drink, do not resort to violence but even then arguing over petty thinks such as a spilled drink is not a good sign for the future behavioural changes. It is even more unfortunate to know that alcohol can lead a person hate oneself. An impulsive behaviour is welcomed but only when one is in his senses and not drunk, but alcoholism makes a person very impulsive to situations which can force a person to perform such tasks which he otherwise would have never performed such as a suicidal attempt.
According to NHS in Scotland, more than 50% of the people who had purposely hurt themselves agreed to the fact that they had consumed alcohol. As per statistics, 27% of men and 19% of women said that the reason for suicide attempt was alcohol.
When a person has drank a lot of alcohol so much that he has no control over oneself, and then may end up crying for no reason at all or may get angry with someone or get bouts of hysteria or even may resort to abuse. Thus alcoholism leads to erratic mood swings and high amount of emotional turbulence. A person becomes very adamant and stubborn out of increased levels of anxiety thus always finding a reason to resort to alcohol again. Thus the mind of a person becomes such that he/she is always on the verge of finding an emotional reason for picking up the glass of drink which would help them to relax (Stannard, 2015). The most dangerous impact that alcohol has on the drunkard’s mind is that it blocks the pain that the person would have had emotionally had he not consumed a drink.
The emotional damage is such that sometimes the consequences become irreversible and irreparable lifelong. The family members loose trust, reliance and respect for the person who is an alcoholic since he can burst out anything at anytime once he is not in his senses thus endangering other person’s secrets (Patterson, 2015). Therefore people around become very conscious while uttering anything in front of them. It ultimately leads to fractions between strong relations as well.
Alcoholism not only impacts the direct victim but also their own as well as all those kids who stay in that house negatively. They are always scared to approach the person, have a very low self esteem and no confidence at all. There mindset is developed negatively. They are so much stressed because of the kind of environment in which they reside is unacceptable socially that they are unable to socialise as well as perform poorly in their academics. However it is a well known fact that children of alcoholics generally also become one but at the same time even if they do not resort to alcohol consumption, they face the problem of coping up with the nearby environment for the rest of their life (Drugs and Alcohol Information and Support. 2015). Unfortunately their minds have been moulded in such a manner since childhood that once they become full grown adults, they become wary towards marriage and also develop symptoms which are psychiatric.
Alcoholism is considered to be a disease and just like there is a cure for other diseases, this one too has a treatment. However medicines are not the solution for this disease unlike the others. People who are alcoholics often feel that now since they cannot live without alcohol, there is no solution to the same. However the said notion is not correct and there are various recovery solutions to the same. There are certain factors such as victims past medical history, the support from the people around and self motivation which can help one come out of the same successfully. For these there are various rehabs which have recently come up (Thompson,W. 2016). These centres provide facilities of medical experts who specialise in such kind of treatment. These professionals make the alcoholics aware about detox to life after the same.
The treatment is a long run process wherein once a person is out of rehab there are high chances that he/she will again indulge into excessive drinking and to overcome the same they should continue to participate in supporting these groups as well as continue to take counselling sessions as such a treatment is like an investment which will reap benefits to oneself as well as the society in which one dwells.
The process of alcoholism treatment begins with detoxification. This is the initial and the most difficult step. In this step the alcoholic is not allowed to touch even a drop of alcohol and within these initial period he may feel very uncomfortable as well as fall ill. Therefore this step should be conducted only under proper medical vigilance. Once this step becomes successful then only the alcoholic can move towards the next step.
Nowadays there are many rehab centres wherein the victim or the patient is required to stay within the centre premises for a good one month to three months depending upon the patient’s condition. The most appreciable part of these centres is that they not only help the person to come out of this addiction but also prepare them to live a healthy life after rehab. They make aware of the importance of living a healthy life and what actions to do if they again incline towards alcohol consumption (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 2014).
Another step after coming out of a rehab is to gain continuous guidance and counselling from a professional. These counsellors not only help the person to deal with alcohol addiction but also various other family problems. They help a person regain self confidence to lead a better life. In the United States of America the government has contributed a lot by setting up various administrative services specifically to deal with alcoholism which provide information about its pros and cons and refer the patients for the treatment services (Alcohol Rehab Guide. 2016).
However the treatment of alcoholism cannot be done one sudden morning. The urge to leave alcohol should first be developed within the alcoholic before the treatment can be started else the same would be of no use. Thus self realisation to the fact that one has got engaged into excessive drinking and quitting the same is a necessity is the only time when the treatment can be started. The family members and friends also play a major role in making the alcoholic realise. Thus treatment is possible only if the person wants to be treated for the same else not.
Therefore it can be rightly said that alcoholism is more of a psychological disease than a physical one. Although it causes harm to the consumer physically but mostly the harm is caused to the brain, mental state and the behaviour. The sufferer is not only the alcoholic but also his/her peers, family members as well as the whole society in which he resides. A successful person in order to rise the ladder in an organization even though starts drinking, but he/she should set limits to the same. Consuming alcohol is not a bad thing but consuming the same without setting limits is not acceptable. For adults consuming alcohol occasionally is not bad or harmful. The USA is one of the most affected country of the world wherein alcohol has become an abuse.
Lastly it is also understood that the reasons for a person to start drinking is very childish as there seems no specific cause for a person to start consuming the same. A weak will power is the main reason behind a person to suffer with alcoholism. They should understand the negativities and how a good jolly life can turn topsy turvy as alcohol will never give a solution but create further problems. However treatment is possible for the same. Self realisation or the urge to get back to the old life can help a person come out of this abuse and lead a healthy life again. Thus on a concluding note it is understood that consuming alcohol is not an undesirable act but consuming unlimited alcohol is an unacceptable action by the society as well as the family. Destruction is all it can lead to specially of the brain and te mental state.
Alcohol Rehab Guide. (2016). Treating Alcoholism. Retrieved from https://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/treatment/
Berman, M.O., Shagrin, B., Evert, D.L. & Epstein, C. (1997). Impairment of Brain and Behaviour – The Neurological Effects of Alcohol. Alcohol Health and Research World. 21(1). 65-75
Bradshaw,L. (2014). Cause and Effect Essay on Alcoholism. Retrieved from https://www.customwritings.com/blog/example-essays/cause-effect-essay-alcoholism.html
Burke, D. (2015). Alcoholism. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/basics#Overview1
Drugs and Alcohol Information and Support. (2015). How alcohol affects mood. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.ie/alcohol_info/about_alcohol/how_alcohol_effects_mood/
Edwards, R.D. (2015). Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (Alcohol Use Disorder). Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_abuse_and_alcoholism/page3.htm
Henman, J.O., (2008). Character Changes Caused by Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.cairforyou.com/alchoholdrugs/alcoholcharacter.htm
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2014). Treatment for Alcohol Problems : Finding and Getting Help. Retrieved from https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/treatment/treatment.htm#chapter01
Patterson, E. (2015). The Effects of Alcohol Use. Retrieved from https://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-alcohol-use/
Stannard, L. (2015). Emotional Effects of Alcohol Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/301255-emotional-effects-of-alcohol-abuse/
Thompson,W. (2016). Alcoholism Treatment and Management. Retrieved from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/285913-treatment
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