Alcohol addiction and treatment
I see a lot of people with alcohol problems and whilst it can be challenging, the rewards of staying sober can be dramatic. Your life becomes better in every way. I use Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to help you through the process of quitting alcohol for good. It is structured and does require work from you too. If you have tried to quit many times but have found that you have always returned to drink then now is the time to deal with this problem for good!
Even the medical health experts suggest that a little alcohol can be ok, in fact could even prove to be therapeutic. However, when alcohol consumption becomes excessive, it can become a real problem and can start to really harm your health, both mentally and physically. Not only does it harm you, but it can impact terribly on your relationships with those you love. It may also prove to be a problem at work or other areas of your life too.
The first part of getting through this addiction, be it binge drinking or drinking excessively each day, is to acknowledge that you have a problem.
The second part is to make a decision to do something about it – and this decision could be one of the most important things you ever choose to do.
These days, it is so easy to purchase alcohol from off-licences or supermarkets and at a fraction of the cost charged by pubs and clubs. When drinking at home, it is easy to get through a lot without realising it. Then your body starts to become accustomed to the levels of alcohol, so you end up drinking more to feel the numbing effects.
It is very common that the habit of drinking excessively can be emotionally linked. It is often used as what we refer to as a ‘coping mechanism’, this means that you utilise something to make you feel better. So if you feel angry, bored, sad, anxious, depressed or frustrated it can be easy to turn to drink to numb down these feelings. However, drinking in response to emotions doesn’t work! It may help you feel better at the time of drinking, but the next day, the problems still exist and you feel worse as your head is cloudy and body aches and the frustration returns, making everything worse.
Alcohol abuse can also be formed by the way you were raised. Perhaps a parent was an alcoholic and so as a younger child it was seen to be a part of life. Or through social interaction such as drinking with a group after work or drinking with your friends more than one day a week.
What are the signs of alcohol abuse?
- Feelings of guilt or being ashamed of your alcohol consumption
- Being sneaky about drinking and lying about your habit
- Have been told by a family member or friend that they are worried about your drinking
- If you need to use alcohol to relax or to numb your feelings
- Forgetting what you did whilst drinking or even passing out as a result
- Drinking far more than you intended to
There are two main forms of alcoholism.
In this instance you may find that:
- You start to disregard your accountabilities to work, home, college etc, due to your drinking. This may jeopardise your work performance or grades at college etc.
- Drinking in hazardous situations, such as driving whilst drunk, operating machinery. Or drinking whilst on prescribed medication from your GP.
- Getting into trouble through your drinking problem. Such as, fighting and being disorderly in public.
- Carrying on drinking even though you know it is damaging your relationship. For example, coming home drunk or arguing with your partner or family because they confront you about your drinking.
- Using alcohol to reduce your stress levels or relax. You may start to drink the moment you get home after a stressful day at work or using it as a treat.
- Becoming tolerant to the levels of alcohol you consume. You need more and more to reach the desired level of relaxation or to get the buzz.
- You need to continue drinking to control the shakes that you get if you stop drinking. These shakes are withdrawal signs and should not go unchecked.
Here’s a checklist:
- Sweating more
- Being sick
- Broken sleep
- Becoming more irritable
- Small appetite
In extreme cases you may experience seizures or hallucinations.
More signs of dependence:
- You carry on drinking even though you told yourself to stop.
- You really want to stop, but you don’t or can’t. You may have tried many times to stop drinking but always return.
- You think about alcohol all the time. You may be thinking of that drink during work and can’t wait to get home to start.
- You continue to drink, even though you know it’s harming you or those around you.
The most important thing about stopping drinking is that you get the support you need. Stopping drinking is only the first step! You need to tackle the issues behind the drinking and to start to look into the triggers and urges to drink.
You may try something like alcoholics anonymous where you get support in a group, but a lot of people would rather their problems be a little more private. I see people as individuals and work with you challenging your thinking and feelings to give you the confidence and control you need to be able to defeat this destructive habit and to stay off the drink for the rest of your life.
I use CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), and powerful hypnosis to tackle the thoughts and feelings and help give you the strength you need to move forward in your life.
Image courtesy of [Naypong] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net