Can you relate to this experience? After a stressful day, you hit the bar to let out some steam with coworkers. After a few, your coworkers head home, and you think, I should too. But then highlights from the big game come on, so you stay even though everyone else has left. You’re at the bar and naturally you have another. It’s no big deal, you tell yourself. Or is it a big deal? With alcohol, it can be hard to tell when enough turns into too much. Healthy use can easy drift into harmful use or even alcoholism.
Some people consume alcohol as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Some people misuse it. Some can even become addicted to alcohol. But in everyday life, how can people know the difference? Where is the line between healthy and unhealthy? When does enough turn into too much? Therapists have helped many people gauge their alcohol use and treat any harmful habits or addictions.
The therapists at Thriveworks Richmond offer treatment that can help people understand when, how much, and why they drink. Through counseling, many people have regained control over their alcohol use.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
Alcoholism or alcohol addiction are the popular terms for alcohol use disorder (AUD). A disease that disrupts the balance in a person’s brain, AUD displays itself through loss of control with regard to alcohol. The imbalance increases the chemical that allows people to feel please when they drink while it decreases the chemical that controls impulsiveness.
Because of this disequilibration, many alcoholics cannot regulate how much and when they drink. When they do not have alcohol in their bodies, they may feel depressed and anxious, driving them to drink more and more.
Alcohol addiction can have genetic and social causes. A young age of first drink can increase a person’s risk for alcoholism, as can having a relative with the disease.
Many people use alcohol in unhealthy ways, but they are not alcoholics. Alcohol use disorder involves loss of control. Therapists who are experienced with alcoholism’s symptoms can diagnose the difference between misuse and addiction.
Alcoholism: Who/What Is in Control?
Take a moment to think about when, where, and how much you drink. The following lists behaviors that may reflect a loss of control associated with alcoholism.
Many people who have lost control of their alcohol use …
- Experience alcohol cravings
- Prioritize alcohol over family, work, friends, or hobbies
- Imbibe more for the same buzz
- Feel annoyed or angry when unable to drink
- Drink in secret or alone
- Lie about drinking
- Attempt to curb or quit alcohol but without success
- Continue to drink despite monetary, relational, professional, or legal difficulties it has caused.
- Shake, vomit, and/or sweat after going too long without alcohol
Do you see any of these behaviors in your own life? If you can relate to one or more items on the list, it may be time to see a counselor.
All people have trouble seeing problems in their lives, and alcoholics are no different. Minimizing, denying, or excusing these behaviors are natural responses, but doing so could delay treatment and lead to further harm.
Accompanying Health Problems
Alcohol use disorder is, by itself, a concerning health challenge, but many other health problems are linked to it as well. High or sustained alcohol blood levels may lead to or complicate other illnesses, including …
- Vision loss
- Diabetes complications
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Birth defects
- Atrial Fibrillation
Early diagnosis and treatment for alcoholism may also prevent these additional health problems.
Therapy through Thriveworks Richmond, VA
Are your drinking habits causing problems in your life? Have you tried to quit but don’t know how? Maybe it is time for some help along the way. The therapists at Thriveworks Richmond are ready to provide guidance and support for anyone who is ready to take back control of their alcohol use.
We offer client-centered care, from the first time you call our office throughout your treatment plan. When you pick up the phone to call Thriveworks Richmond, VA know that …
- A person will help you make an appointment for therapy.
- Many clients see the therapist within 24-hours.
- Evening and weekend appointments are available.
- Our therapists accept many insurance plans.
Admitting you have a problem and asking for help takes courage. Making that first call may be the hardest but best decision you ever make. If you are ready to find treatment for your alcohol use, the therapists at Thriveworks want you to know that you do not have to recover alone. We are here to help. Call today.