Alcoholism, now known as alcohol use disorder, affects 53.1 million Americans. This is a disorder that is difficult to recognize and diagnose. As a matter of fact, not all are aware that they are already in the pit of alcohol habit.
What is alcohol use disorder?
Based on Mayo Clinic’s website, alcohol use disorder “is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking”.
People with alcohol problems become so dependent on it that they keep on drinking even when there are no reasons to do so. Alcohol becomes their fuel to go on with life, most especially when there are problems to deal with. It becomes the escape route for the majority to forget their issues momentarily even if it is causing problems in the family, physical harm and emotional distress.
What are the causes of alcohol use disorder?
Experts in the field of health and medicine are still unsure of the true causes of alcohol habit. There are various factors that lead to this disorder but there is actually no evidence that could support the speculations.
However, they could pinpoint the most obvious causes of alcohol use disorder. These are:
1. Family History
There is a high possibility that you will develop this habit when you see your parents or a relative struggling with alcohol use disorder. Though it is perceived that biological and genetic factors play vital roles in alcoholism, it does not necessarily mean that you will grow up as an alcoholic. Seeing your family drinking casually and constantly can awaken your curiosity and the desire to drink.
2. Stressful Life
Having a stressful and exhausting life at work and at home can lead to excessive drinking. No one is an expert in handling complicated issues and relationships in life. At times, it is better to just forget about everything and drown your sorrows with alcohol.
3. Drinking at a Young Age
Therapists and psychologists say that there is a high chance to develop alcohol use disorder when you start drinking at a very young age – around 15 years old and younger. Peer pressure also contributes to why adolescents learn to drink alcohol. This way of life can affect you in your old age where illnesses are starting to manifest.
4. Lack Parental Guidance
Those people who have no strong foundation at home and no parents to guide them will have a high tendency of resorting to alcohol habit. Parents need to supervise their children in making the right choices in life. When there is no parental involvement, the child will seek refuge in other people who may influence them in a bad way.
5. Mental Health Issues
When you are battling with mental health issues like anxiety, depression or post-traumatic disorder, you may find comfort in alcohol. You think that drinking alcohol will make you feel better. You feel that by drinking you can temporarily forget about your issues but the truth is, it will just get worse.
What are the symptoms of alcohol use disorder?
People who have been excessively drinking will never notice that they have a problem. They will make excuses on why they are drinking. You will know that you or someone close to you has a drinking problem when:
- drinking alone or drinking in secret
- cannot control alcohol consumption
- blacks out and cannot remember the passing time
- skipping work or school just to drink
- gets aggressive and violent especially when ask about their drinking problem
- disregarding their physical hygiene
- not eating well
- hiding alcoholic beverages
- losing interests on hobbies, work, relationships or family
- constantly craving for alcohol
- having problems at work, school, finances, relationships because of drinking
- experiencing nausea, sweating, vomiting or shaking when not drinking
Where to ask for help?
If you feel that you have these symptoms, you need to act right now. You really need help and guidance from people that know how to handle alcohol use disorder. It will be a rough road to take but once you get the help you need, your life will surely be better.
Mindshift Psychological Services have the best therapy near me and counseling sessions for those who want to overcome their drinking problems. This is a brave step you take and they are willing to lend a hand for those who want to heal and be better.
They offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy near me that deals with a wide range of mental issues including alcohol use disorder. This therapy will open your heart and mind to face your issues head on. This teaches you on how to solve your problems in practical and logical ways.