Treatment for Obsessive compul...

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects an individual’s thoughts and behaviour. Here the individual has intrusive repetitive distressing thoughts and compulsions or ritualistic mental acts or behaviour that temporarily reduces the distress. Living with OCD can be devastating as the individual is aware that something is wrong with them but are unable to control their thoughts. […]

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Is alcoholism hereditary?

Number of studies has been conducted to find if our gene is the cause of alcoholism, yet there has not been a study that confirms it. Experts have conducted twin and adoption studies to reach this goal. However what was found was; genes or heredity is not the sole reason for alcoholism, along with it […]

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Impact of alcoholism on family

Alcoholism is a well known health hazard. It impacts the individual’s health, their social status, finance and mental health too. But along with these it also affects the abuser’s family. Man is a social being and is always connected to others; the closet among all is family. Hence the family is bound to get an […]

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Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome are a group of symptoms that are life threatening and occur when an individual completely stops consuming alcohol or greatly reduces their intake after a long period of alcohol intake. These symptoms may start from 8 hours to days after the individual stops and may last for day or even weeks. When […]

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Obsessive compulsive disorder-...

“An individual looking as normal as person can be, has an ordinary simple job and lives an ordinary life. But when it comes to having meals this individual has rules; the fork has to be on the right and spoon on the left straight, salt always on the right side of the plate, food has […]

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What is alcoholism, really?

post1-wo-text_ver2Most people do not realize when their alcohol consumption has gone from normal use or socializing, to drinking for the purpose of avoiding and running away from their problems. This is alcoholism or alcohol abuse.

The development of alcoholism is based on many factors such as your environment while growing up, current social environment and present emotional health and stability. If you are close or related to an alcoholic, you are more likely to develop drinking problems. You may also go through this if you are a heavy and regular drinker, or if you have mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, etc., because in such situations, you are more likely to self-medicate and become susceptible to alcoholism.

The most common and easily identifiable symptoms of alcoholism are:

  • Neglecting your responsibilities at home or work due to heavy drinking
  • Drinking up to a point where it is physically dangerous to you or loved ones, such as drinking and driving
  • Drinking alcohol to de-stress regularly or as an alternative to dealing with your problems
  • Continued drinking despite the harm it is causing your relationships
  • Feeling ashamed of your regular drinking habits yet continuing to consume alcohol regularly

What is the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse?

Alcohol abusers do not always become fully-blown alcoholics, though it is a major risk factor.

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence has pretty much the same symptoms as alcohol abuse, except for the fact that severe physical and functional dependence on alcohol become pronounced. It is one of the most common forms of problem drinking.

How do I know if I am an alcoholic?

One way to recognize your crossover into alcohol dependence is to check whether you drink to enjoy and socialize or you are drinking out of any physical or mental compulsions.

If you find your daily functionality and stability dependent on the consumption of alcohol, you know you are an alcoholic. It is best to seek professional help immediately, before the situation aggravates.

What is the treatment for alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a real addiction, like drug abuse. It is harmful and can lead to self-destruction. However, it is curable.

The first step to overcoming alcoholism is to accept that you have a drinking problem and seeking help. Denial is one of the major reasons why alcoholics often do not receive the treatment they need.

With the right kind of treatment, alcoholism is curable. Two of the most common treatments for alcohol dependence are detoxification and rehabilitation:

  • Detoxification is the help given immediately after the discontinuance of your consumption of alcohol, and can result in withdrawal seizures and hallucinations, which are managed professionally
  • Rehabilitation involves counseling, guidance and medication given to a recovering alcoholic to help her/him continue being sober

A recovering alcoholic must be self-driven and put in an effort to recover. If you are going through this stage, you will require regular support and motivation so you can stop your cravings for alcohol. You can get support by joining support groups for recovering alcoholics such as Alcoholics Anonymous or speaking to a professional therapist/counsellor.

Alcoholism and stigma

Stigma surrounding alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency is forced upon us by society, friends and family. Most assumptions made when you think about an alcoholic are negative, such as being depraved, unemployed, having had a bad upbringing, dropping out of school and not completing your education and involved in shady pursuits such as prostitution, betting etc. Alcoholics are assumed to consume drugs as well.

It is very important for a recovering individual overcome this stigma and reach out for professional help to treat alcohol dependence.

Remember, alcoholism is a real problem. But it can be overcome, if it is diagnosed and treated properly. And help is just a call away.

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