MAKING THE TOUGH DECISION
Alcohol has become a daily part of life for most people in the UK. For most, drinking alcohol never becomes a problem and can be limited to a glass of wine with dinner or a beer after work.
Most research carried out in the UK suggests that approximately 6% of the population show signs of alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Public perception of alcoholism is often that of a park bench drunk or someone that needs alcohol to get out of bed first thing in the morning. In our experience, this is certainly not always the case and in fact many of the clients we see have different levels of alcohol dependence. For example, they start to become reliant on the bottle of wine after work with dinner; they are no longer to enjoy themselves socially without alcohol. Alcoholism does not describe the amount you drink, but more your reliance upon it.
People develop alcohol dependence for a variety of reasons and no two stories are the same. Stressful events such as divorce, losing a job or financial stresses can lead to alcohol dependence. It may have been that alcoholism was in the family or it may simply be that you have an addictive personality.
Alcoholism can lead to a variety of health problems and will lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease to name just a few and we have seen these health conditions affecting our clients at a far younger age due to the severity of their drinking.
Alcohol dependence can also affect mental and psychological well-being dramatically. Anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings are common in those suffering from alcohol dependence. Without going into detail about brain chemistry, there are two easy ways to explain why this is: a) alcohol is a depressant; drink enough and you will get depressed, b) drinking too much alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in the brain which can in turn lead to depression or anxiety.
Another common symptom of alcohol dependence is ‘withdrawal’. Depending on the level and regularity of drinking withdrawals can range from agitation to life threatening seizures. Other common withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, anxiety, insomnia, anxiety, depression, hallucinations and nausea. If you experience any withdrawal symptoms, that ought to be a clear indication that there is an alcohol problem.
There are several warning signs which can indicate that you are developing an alcohol problem and one simple question to ask is……’Does alcohol cost you more than money?’ For example is your drinking affecting your health, your relationships, your work, your happiness, your mood etc, then you may be suffering from alcohol dependence.
If you would like to talk to a counsellor about your drinking, please complete the callback request form on this website and a qualified alcohol specialist counsellor will call you back.