Alcoholism and drinking problems have no known single cause. It’s more likely a drinking problem is a symptom of any combination of environmental, behavioural and biological issues. Genetics, social factors and psychology can all play a part. Whilst a drinking problem may seem like an unconquerable hurdle, it’s likely that tackling the root cause of the issue will lessen the desire to drink. Often behaviours become so ingrained we can’t remember what led us to it in the first place.
Here are some of the most common causes of drinking problems.
Prolonged stress puts a huge strain on the body and mind and alcohol is one way that some people deal with that. High pressure jobs, a stressful family life or specific events such as divorce, can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption. Alcohol seems to temporarily relieve the feelings of stress but soon wears off and over time it takes more and more alcohol just to feel ‘normal’.
By dealing with the source of the stress or finding healthier ways to manage it, the alcohol problem can be resolved. If you find yourself turning to drink at the end of each day just to relax or when things get tough, there’s a better way.
Traumatic experiences such as a death in the family, an accident or a job loss have also be linked to alcohol abuse. Similarly early childhood or forgotten traumas that are left unresolved or that still cause us pain can be triggers. We often find it difficult to deal with such extreme situations and the emotions they bring up. Drinking makes us feel temporarily ‘happy’ or simply helps us to forget so we use this as a coping mechanism for a while.
However, drinking might actually be making the feelings worse and avoidance is not a good long term solution. Through appropriate treatment trauma can be processed in a safe environment to allow you to move on with your life and be happy.
Depression and associated conditions are very complex and people tend to develop a number of individual ways to cope. It’s not unusual for someone with depression to drink too much as it can temporarily numb them to the symptoms. It’s very likely to make things worse in the long term though, masking the problem for a while but often accelerating it in the process.
If you find yourself turning to alcohol to deal with feelings of desperation, misery or emptiness please do seek help for a better solution.
It’s not uncommon to feel like you need a drink to enjoy a night out. With social anxiety the panic that sets in when you think about going out, being in a crowded room or new social situation can mean you feel unable to cope without the extra courage that alcohol provides.
Many people who lack confidence or have low self-esteem turn to alcohol to help them feel happier, more ‘fun’ and boost confidence, but it can have the opposite effect once you sober up. Often no real progress is made as you feel powerless and sometimes even forget or blackout, making yourself feel vulnerable. Social anxiety is much better treated with advanced hypnotherapy to build true confidence and release fear.
These are just a few of the issues that have been known to cause drinking problems and alcohol dependence. If you would like to change your relationship with alcohol, no matter how big or small you think your problem is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a more safe, permanent and effective solution.