Some people drink alcohol as a way to self-medicate, whether it be for a physical ailment or a mental one. Alcohol initially has a mood-enhancing effect, making individuals feel more relaxed and less inhibited. However, over time, prolonged alcohol use can actually make these ailments worse, leading to feelings of frustration, anger, hostility, and, ultimately, aggression. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down brain functioning and impairs cognitive and motor skills. At our Illinois alcohol rehab center, we can help individuals who are questioning their alcohol consumption to those who are deeply rooted by its addiction. It only becomes unhealthy when it goes unresolved and when it isn’t addressed.
- What’s worse is that picking up a drink again or experiencing a relapse often triggers resentment, guilt, and anger.
- This allowed us to model clients as random factors and to nest repeated measures within each client.
It means learning how to approach your anger in a way that serves you and your recovery. Oftentimes, when talking about anger management, healing is also about setting boundaries and learning self-compassion. It’s easy to disregard tough emotions in the moment if you know you can “take the edge off” once you have a drink in your hand. It may feel like you’re confronting that anger once intoxicated, but because alcohol also impairs memory, you’re never fully able to process that anger. Many have unresolved feelings of anger, frustration, or rage before they reach for alcohol.
What is the Link Between Anger and Alcohol?
In other words, their behavior, rather than your reaction to their behavior, becomes the focus. It is only when they experience their own pain that they will feel a need to change. For example, if your loved one passes out in the yard and you carefully help them into the house and into bed, only you feel the pain.
When it is unavailable, they are likely to become highly irritable, depressed, angry, and possibly violent. Some such individuals may also become angry if someone, even close friends and family members, confront them about their problems with alcohol. The most effective way to cope with alcohol-induced anger is to avoid consuming too much alcohol. Instead of being a natural emotion, someone with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) will express anger to avoid dealing with unpleasant or adverse circumstances, including the addiction.
Personality and the Propensity to Become Aggressive When Intoxicated
While the two share many similarities, they are two very different emotions. Someone who is frequently angry while drunk could have an underlying mental health condition, but it could also just be the consequence of long-term or unresolved anger. Finding wellness through treatment at Serenity Lane doesn’t just mean finding recovery from AUD. It means identifying your triggers for anger and finding out why you’re self-medicating with alcohol.
- Over time Ryan came to better understand factors that contributed to his drinking, including his anger and increased aggression when drinking.
- However, the sample size was appropriate to the state of knowledge in the field, this being the first randomized controlled trial with a new and untested intervention.
- They can’t be attributed to any other cause, like another underlying mental health condition.
They completed surveys assessing their endorsement of traditional masculine norms, use of thought suppression, and both trait and alcohol-related aggression. It was found that thought suppression mediated the association between the toughness masculine norm and alcohol-related aggression. Identifying those factors that might contribute to heightened anger when consuming alcohol is important for individuals who have anger issues and those who treat them. By Buddy T
Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Intimate partner violence is of great concern when it comes to alcohol and anger.
Oar Member Stories: Cutting Back on Alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal can be potentially life-threatening, in the case of severe dependence. Medical detox is typically considered the optimal method for allowing alcohol to safely process out of the body while under continual medical supervision. When people have difficulty controlling impulses, trouble regulating their emotions, or may present a danger to themselves and/or others, medical detox is required. Medical detox programs are often the first stage in a comprehensive addiction treatment program.
If anger is an issue for you or a loved one when you drink, contact an addiction treatment professional near you and inform them of your needs. A reputable treatment program will be able to assess whether their program is a good fit for your recovery goals or whether they should refer you to a program more specialized around your needs. Luckily, addiction treatment professionals are aware of the connection between alcohol consumption and anger and have developed alcoholism and anger resources to help. 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 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.
An earlier study found that alcohol use enhanced aggression primarily among individuals who showed a heightened disposition for such behavior (Eckhardt and Crane, 2008). They were directed to engage in a task with the potential https://ecosoberhouse.com/ to trigger aggressive verbalizations, with those who consumed alcohol showing significantly more such behavior. In a 2017 report, researchers shared their findings of the relationship between alcohol and dating violence.
The focus then becomes what you did (moved them) rather than what they did (drinking so much that they passed out outside). Someone with AUD typically doesn’t want anyone to know the level of their alcohol consumption because if someone found out the full extent of the problem, they might try to help. The key to dealing with alcohol dependency in the family is staying focused on the situation as it exists today. It doesn’t reach a certain level and remain there for very long; it continues to get worse until the person with an alcohol problem seeks help. What might seem like a reasonable expectation in some circumstances might be totally unreasonable when it comes to someone with an addiction.
What Is the Connection between Alcohol and Anger?
“People who were present-focused and drunk shocked their opponents longer and harder than anyone else in the study,” researcher Brad Bushman of Ohio State University told ScienceDaily. When alcohol enters our bloodstream, the brain responds by increasing its production of dopamine, a “feel good” chemical that occurs naturally in our bodies when we engage in a pleasurable activity, like exercising or eating. Alcohol increases our brain’s production of dopamine, though, at a higher rate than we can achieve naturally. On that final note, in particular, one of the more profound ways in which alcohol can contribute to aggression is by altering an individual’s perception of reality. On that final note, in particular, one of the more profound ways in which alcohol can contribute to aggression is by altering an individual’s perception of reality. Let Little Creek Recovery Center guide you down the right path to recovery, personal growth, and long-term sobriety.