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Alcoholism and Anger

Alcoholism and Anger

You made dinner later than you did last night because you knew he wouldn’t like his dinner cold. As you take the crab cakes out of the oven, your husband’s favorite food, you hear him come through the door. He wraps his arms around you from behind and tells you it smells good. You can smell the alcohol on his breath. You turn and sidestep out of his way, accusing him of being drunk. He tells you he can’t be because the bartender cut him off tonight. 

You tell him, “We're out” as he goes to the fridge, saying he wants a beer. He slams the fridge door and accuses you of ruining his life. He refrains from touching you but grabs the crab cakes nearest him and throws them on the floor before walking away. How much longer until his anger becomes physical?

In the United States, 40% of reported domestic violence cases involved alcohol. They also found that in these cases, the offender is less likely to commit these actions of domestic violence when sober. 

The good news is that finding recovery is possible. At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we understand how difficult it can be to manage your anger, especially with alcohol involved. 

Alcoholism Can Lead to Physical Abuse

Alcohol alters your mental state. This is why it helps you to forget about things. However, drinking one drink after the other isn’t healthy and can often lead you to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing sober. Oftentimes, anger is magnified by binge drinking. You may cause unintentional injury to yourself, participate in unprotected or non-consensual sex, or commit acts of domestic violence. Although it is not always the case that alcohol is directly involved in domestic violence, it can be a contributing factor. 

Alcoholism and Anger - Alcoholism Detox Treatment in Delaware

What to Know About Anger and Alcoholism

Anger impacts the entire body. It is a normal emotion that must be managed, like grief or joy. While it is impossible never to feel anger again, learning skills that allow you to manage anger better is possible.

Just as long-term anger has consequences, regular use of alcohol can also cause side effects. While a consequence of alcohol might be drunk driving or getting a DUI, physical side effects can occur when you use alcohol regularly.

These can include:

  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Slowed breathing
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning happens when you drink more alcohol than your liver can process. This leads to the body shutting down. The liver can only process one drink an hour. One drink is 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, and 1.5 oz. of all other forms of alcohol, including tequila and whiskey.

Some signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • A drop in body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory distress
  • Loss of consciousness

If a person cannot wake up or experiences signs of respiratory distress, seek emergency help immediately. It is unsafe for them to simply sleep it off, as alcohol will continue to move through their body as they sleep, potentially making things worse. 

The NIH conducted a study that showed that people dependent on alcohol had more experience with anger and less experience with anger control. They found that those who were dependent on alcohol often had poor coping skills when it came to expressing their anger.

Alcohol and Anger Management

Learning to manage your anger and alcohol use can be difficult. Perhaps all you have known is anger for a long time, and you don’t know what your life will look like beyond anger.. Perhaps you have felt like drinking alcohol would lessen the anger in your life, only to realize now that it worsens the feelings of anger. But learning how to manage your anger better will give you the freedom to live the life that you had imagined for yourself. 

You can better manage your anger by understanding what triggers it. When you understand what makes you angry, you can begin to address your anger in healthy ways that do not involve alcohol. You can leave situations that create anger to relax and figure out how to better communicate your needs and feelings with those you love instead of lashing out at them.

Practicing these skills and seeking help does not make you weak. You are not alone in your anger, and recovery is possible.

Alcoholism and Anger - SUN Behavioral Health Delaware Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Getting Help For Alcoholism and Anger is Possible in Georgetown, DE

Withdrawal symptoms often make it difficult to walk away from alcohol.

These symptoms might include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures 

Your body has become used to alcohol’s effects, and now that it is no longer receiving alcohol, it is removing the toxins from your system. This is why the alcohol detox is the first step in your recovery. You can heal safely and efficiently by getting medical help during this process. 

Alcohol detox typically only occurs during the first 72 hours after your last drink. Still, the length of time depends on factors such as age, the amount you drank, how long you drank, and if you have relapsed. 

Understand that recovery is possible, even though it is difficult. Getting assistance to help you on the path to recovery as you learn new skills and thought patterns could help you leave alcohol and your anger behind. You can manage your anger in a healthy way that does not involve alcohol.

One way to learn how to change your thought patterns is through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You will learn how to turn your negative thought patterns into constructive thought patterns that will be necessary to healing from your alcohol use and managing feelings of anger that might come up down the road.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

At SUN Behavioral Health in Georgetown, DE, we work with families to provide assistance to live a life free from alcohol and anger. You are not alone. If you need help with your anger and alcohol use and want to recover in a safe environment that will communicate a message of hope to you, call us today at 302-604-5600.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does alcoholism cause anger issues?

Studies have shown that excessive consumption of alcohol can be associated with anger. The association of alcohol dependency and violent behaviors is present in 16-50% of alcohol-dependent people. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, creating opportunities that make anger issues more prevalent. 

How does alcoholism change a personality?

The effect of alcohol is not limited to just physical effects but can also impact mental and emotional aspects. This allows for personality changes for those who engage in alcohol dependence. However, it is also possible for personality aspects such as impulsivity and neuroticism to decrease as proper treatment for alcohol use disorders is utilized. 

What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol?

Look out for many signs of liver damage if you consume alcohol regularly. These include yellow skin or nails (known as jaundice), itchy skin, dark urine, loss of appetite, the tendency to bruise easily, chronic fatigue, and swelling in ankles. You should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms and they are causing you concern. 

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