Why do you need Mental Health ...

Every day we learn of suicide and individuals engaging in mass murder. Most of these individuals actually suffer from mental illness. From the youngest to the oldest all are at risk when it comes to mental illness. So what do we do in times like this? We provide Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First […]

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When does Psychological First ...

  The world is going through a crisis. From disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, traumatic events, ongoing discrimination towards sections of society, criminal activities etc. causes a large number of victims and affected family members of such victims undergo a major psychological breakdown. At times like this Psychological First Aid helps to prevent their health from […]

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Mental Health First Aid

In a first aid an injured person is given essential help until a professional medical treatment is given. The main aim of a first aid is to save life, prevent any kind of further harm, promote recovery and provide comfort. Mental health first aid (MHFA) does the same for individual developing mental health problems. Mental […]

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What are the other medical pro...

Dementia refers to a loss of mental function which compromises a person’s cognitive thinking. It results in declining memory and linguistic skill as well as behavioural changes. It is a progressive disease caused by brain damage. This means that the symptoms and effects will progressively worsen over time. The effects can range from physical or […]

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Say No to Cocaine in all forms...

We live in a world where taking cocaine is trendier than fashion. Its availability and use is not limited to a certain class of the society or an age group. The ‘Happening’ drug is easily available at the hidden corner of the street nearby. Whether it is to boost self-esteem or just succumbing to peer-pressure, […]

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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.