Author: John Carter

Physical Signs and Other Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse

alcoholic thinking

If one of our articles is marked with a ‘reviewed for accuracy and expertise’ badge, it indicates that one or more members of our team of doctors and clinicians have reviewed the article further to ensure accuracy. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. Of course, Bob wasn’t fired because his boss wanted to hire a nephew and Mary’s excuse for drinking because she lost a child and her husband must work 60 hours a week to make ends meet are ridiculous.

Alcohol use disorder includes a level of drinking that’s sometimes called alcoholism. FHE offers in-depth, comprehensive alcohol treatment, including medical detoxification, counseling, medications, and aftercare support. Our neuro-rehabilitative treatments can speed the recovery process, by helping to restore brain health for minds ravaged by alcohol.

It can be helpful to talk to other people interested in being sober curious. Having a friend who is also sober curious can make it easier to navigate social situations where drinking is encouraged or expected. Drinking frequently or heavily has several serious health effects. In the short term, it can increase interpersonal conflict, cause hangovers, change behavior, and contribute to injuries and accidents.

Risk factors

Labels such as ‘alcoholic’ do nothing to help a person with the disorder get the help they need. While alcoholic thinking is reversible, cognitive impairment caused by alcoholism may not be reversible. Recovering from the insanity of alcohol demands entering an inpatient rehab facility for detoxification, followed by intensive counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. If an alcoholic relapses, they may or may not revert to alcoholic thinking.

  1. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics.
  2. In cases where you have been drinking heavily or frequently for some time, it is a good idea to have your detox supervised by a medical professional to manage potentially risky withdrawal complications.
  3. You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use.

Alcohol increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA that causes marked sedation. “The movement pushes back at the normalization of heavy drinking and stereotypes that those who do not drink are less social or have less fun.” Denying alcoholism is a powerfully effective, self-preservation mechanism. People start drinking for a variety of reasons, but never with the intent of becoming an alcoholic.

Alcoholism – A Unique Disease

It denies, blames others, blatantly refuses to admit a drinking problem and does everything possible to reinforce the delusion of blamelessness. Alcoholics think, act, believe, and feel based on distorted perceptions or themselves and the world around them. There is no moderation, no middle ground, no compromise, and no gray area in their worldview.

If you are interested in learning more about what it means to be sober curious, check out Ruby Warrington’s book or her accompanying podcast. You can also look for events hosted by Club Söda if you want to learn more. It’s also a good idea to start pursuing hobbies and activities that don’t involve drinking. Ideas you might explore include local recreation centers or parks, art classes, reading, playing an instrument, or dancing. Often referred to as “generation sober,” the millennial generation has embraced sober curious culture and has actually made sobriety more culturally acceptable.

alcoholic thinking

They reason that having such a difficult/stressful/demanding life entitles them to act in ways that are immature, irresponsible, and selfish. To observe their behavior is to conclude a belief that the world must owe them something. The active alcoholic wallows in self-pity and concludes that they are a victim of life. As they demand more from the world they expect less and less from themselves. Putting blinders on a horse leaves it with no peripheral vision – such is the worldview of the alcoholic. They may attend to many things, but in order to do so they must turn their attention away from one thing and toward another.

Identifying Alcoholism

Alcohol also forces the brain to release massive amounts of dopamine into a part of the brain that controls feelings of euphoria and pleasure. What I am describing here is the person who is still drinking, is high functioning, and has not yet lost the things they hold dear. The disease of addiction dictates that they will lose these things in time and the rule of threes dictates a grim long term prognosis (jail, institution, and/or death). Sometimes, you might consider engaging in other activities that don’t put drinking front and center. Or you might come up with some responses you might give if someone offers you a drink in a social situation.

Health Benefits of Being Sober Curious

For adolescents, drinking alcohol can make it even more difficult to control impulses and make healthy choices. In both adolescents and adults, drinking also compromises the ability to sense danger by disrupting the function of a brain region called the amygdala. Alcohol often produces rewarding feelings such as euphoria or pleasure that trick the brain into thinking the decision to drink alcohol was a positive one and that motivate drinking again in the future. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 15 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD).

They will pick a fight with you because they want to leave and they will have you believing it’s your fault. They may have had integrity before their addiction kicked in but it will be conspicuously absent from their lives as they spiral. There is often one exception to this rule for each alcoholic – one thing they do especially well and it will most generally be their sole source of self esteem. We have known a large number of alcoholics who have incredible work ethics because being a good worker is the one thing they know they’re good at…well, they will say that and drinking. In cases where you have been drinking heavily or frequently for some time, it is a good idea to have your detox supervised by a medical professional to manage potentially risky withdrawal complications. All across the country, individuals are opening sober bars filled with mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks such as kombucha.

Alcoholics Anonymous (the only real recovery)

It also includes binge drinking — a pattern of drinking where a male has five or more drinks within two hours or a female has at least four drinks within two hours. Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. This disorder also involves having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.

It might also mean limiting yourself to a single drink once each week when you are out with friends or replacing your usual cocktail with a non-alcohol option. One study found that after being sober for one month, people experience decreases in blood pressure and a lower risk for alcohol-related conditions. Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain.

A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death. This is of particular concern when you’re taking certain medications that also depress the brain’s function. If you have it, you should know that you are not alone and you are living with a chronic medical condition that needs proper management and treatment.