Author: John Carter

The Alcohol-Depression Connection: Symptoms, Treatment & More

alcohol depression and anger

Remember, quitting a substance cold turkey can lead to health issues, so it’s best to enlist professional help. 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.

Alcohol abuse and anger issues can go hand in hand, as alcohol can be a trigger for those with anger issues. When someone consumes an alcoholic beverage, their inhibitions and natural ability to filter out their emotions are affected. This can then lead to an inability to control their anger and any feelings of hostility that may arise. If you live with underlying anger challenges, for example, it may not be as noticeable when you’re sober because your frontal lobe allows you to manage your emotions and your behaviors.

Learning to be more responsible for your actions takes time, but it’s a necessary step for individuals who have alcohol and anger management problems. As you become more self-aware, you’ll make better choices about alcohol consumption. In addition to receiving guidance from experienced professionals, support groups are effective for building relationships. Recovering from an alcohol use disorder can be isolating, especially when you consider how widespread drinking culture is in the United States. In a support group, you can meet like-minded individuals who can help make recovery that much easier.

Many doctors recommend patients check into a rehabilitation facility. These clinics can help someone go through the withdrawal process with medical supervision. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medicines that are meant to lower alcohol cravings, which can reduce your desire to drink. People with depression frequently lose interest in activities that once brought them joy like hobbies and social events. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor.

How Inflammation Connects Alcohol and Depression

If you find yourself constantly having to apologize after a night of drinking, or if many of your issues with a relationship come out while drinking, you may be at risk for alcohol use disorder. Always look out for such signs, and know when a pattern or trend emerges. “He’s a mean drunk.” This is a line you’ve probably heard in a movie, on TV, or even in real life. From the surface, it almost sounds like the unnamed individual is being mean because he’s drunk. Was the anger already there before this individual consumed alcohol, or was it truly a state that was brought out by the alcohol?

alcohol depression and anger

While anger is an emotion you experience when you feel threatened, aggression is a hostile behavior that results in physical or psychological harm to yourself or others. Some individuals exhibit “trait anger,” a personality trait that means they continually look for triggers that make them angry. There are several risk factors, all of which impact people differently. Though depression is experienced by many, it can often go undiagnosed and untreated. You don’t have to battle the depression alone and relying on alcohol to make you feel better will only cause further pain. Reach out to a mental health professional to talk about treatment and strategies for dealing with depression.

Substance Use Treatment

Results showed enough escalation in people consuming these drinks to label the beverages a “potential risk” to increased hostility. For example, a person with frequent episodes of severe depression may turn to drinking to self-medicate. People who frequently drink are more likely to experience episodes of depression, and they may drink more in an attempt to feel better. 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.

If drinking causes a blackout, you may not even remember being aggressive unless someone reminds you about it. By perpetuating such behavior, people can end up damaging meaningful relationships — yet another effect of alcohol-based aggression. An aggressive drunk may make poor decisions that lead to worse scenarios. Since your judgment becomes clouded when you’re intoxicated, a simple misunderstanding can quickly turn into a bar fight. Furthermore, an angry drunk may not feel like consequences matter, making it seem like a good idea from their perspective to create or partake in a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, feeling aggressive from alcohol can stem from more than one variable that’s beyond your control.

Many studies have found that alcohol dependence is closely linked to depression. When it comes to diagnosing an alcohol use disorder and a major depressive disorder, it’s important to address them simultaneously, as they can significantly impact your recovery. However, alleviating depression does not resolve the alcohol use disorder. In some cases, you may receive a dual diagnosis of a major depressive disorder (MDD) and an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This co-occurring disorder isn’t uncommon, but it can be difficult to treat. There are many telltale signs that can point to a trend of associating anger and alcohol.

  1. Alcohol is frequently used to numb uncomfortable emotions and can become a habitual pattern that disrupts the natural balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
  2. The “burst” of energy from alcohol can be a welcome relief against some symptoms.
  3. Because of the established link between aggression and alcohol, co-treatments have been developed that can also address anger while drinking.

The link between alcohol and anger has to do with alcohol’s ability to remove your inhibitions and disrupt your emotional regulation. When you drink alcohol, parts of your brain that manage anger are suppressed, making it more likely for angry feelings to bubble to the surface. Specifically, it found that problematic drinkers may be more likely to attend to aggressogenic stimuli while intoxicated, and that is, they were more likely to experience certain cues as aggressive. Individuals with mental health conditions may be more likely to use alcohol as a treatment. Several studies suggest that military veterans are more likely to experience depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and misuse alcohol.

What’s the Connection Between Alcohol and Depression?

Aside from existing anger issues, people can turn into aggressors when drinking for several reasons. Major depressive disorder involves persistent and prolonged symptoms, but depression, in general, takes on many different forms. Depressive symptoms can result from life stressors, mental health conditions, medical conditions, and other factors.

Drink plenty of water

Medical detox programs are often the first stage in a comprehensive addiction treatment program. These programs usually last 5-7 days on average and commonly use medications to manage difficult physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. Anger management issues may be rooted in a specific mental health disorder in some cases.

Addiction Treatment Programs

It’s more likely to worsen negative mood states, along with physical health. The more you drink, however, the more likely your emotional state will begin plummeting back down. There are a number of cognitive, neurobiological, and social factors that can influence how alcohol affects aggression. This article discusses some of the facts behind the stereotype of the “angry drunk” and explores the connection between anger and alcohol. Alcoholics anonymous (AA) and alcohol treatment centers offer classes and support group meetings.

To combat aggressive behavior when drinking, individuals should consciously seek help. “Therapeutic interventions designed to address both issues often include a focus on addressing emotional pain or trauma, as well as developing and practicing healthy coping behaviors,” says Kennedy. In residential treatment, “an individual stays in a treatment setting, receives intensive therapy, and is physically separated from alcohol in order to recover,” says Kennedy. “In our society alcohol is readily available and socially acceptable,” says Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, author of Whole Brain Living, explains.