The stereotype of an angry drunk is almost ubiquitous in society. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction and anger issues, or if you’re worried about a loved one who becomes angry when they drink, you aren’t alone. There are treatment options both for the alcohol addict and their families. Acknowledging that you have a problem with your anger and alcohol use is the first step to getting the treatment you need.
Understanding the Nature of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol produces euphoric effects in a drinker, and over time, people become both physically and psychologically. Alcohol also loosens your inhibitions, which is why it’s so alluring to many people in the first place, but it also increases your chances of engaging in high-risk behaviors and reducing your ability to control yourself, which is why you see many people get into verbal or physical altercations after they’ve been drinking.
Reduced inhibitions and high levels of intoxication often result in poor decision-making. Many people also have personality changes, which can be frightening for friends and family members. Alcohol also affects your cognitive control, which can cause your perception to narrow and you to anger more easily. Acting angry and aggressive when you drink is often a sign that you suffer from alcohol abuse disorder.
Understanding the “Angry Drunk”
Angry drunk refers to people who get hostile or provoke fights when they drink. Hostile behavior and angry outbursts that only happen when you’re drinking are often indicators of two problems:
- You have a problem with alcohol use
- You have repressed anger you haven’t dealt with
The inhibition-lowering effects of alcohol encourage drinkers to express their anger and frustration. Severe consequences, like being arrested for fighting or damaging your relationships with friends and loved ones, often happen with angry drunks. Over time, the unaddressed anger issues of an alcohol addict can lead to worse and more violent angry behavior, and drinkers may injure themselves or others.
Symptoms of Anger Issues For Alcohol Addicts
Some indications of anger management problems or underlying anger and frustration you haven’t addressed are obvious – you yell, throw or break things, or provoke physical fights. Other signs aren’t as clear, such as:
- Problems avoiding conflict – inability to “just walk away”
- Throwing objects or hitting inanimate objects when you are drunk and angry
- Difficulty calming down once you’re angry
- Becoming violent towards others
- Deep regret of things you did or said when you were drinking and angry
Regret for your actions and a strong desire to change can help you get on the right path to sobriety. Professional alcohol addiction treatment and therapy for your anger can help you achieve lasting sobriety.
Finding Help For Your Alcohol Abuse and Anger
Treating anger requires therapy. Often, anger stems from frustration or resentment with situations or circumstances you can’t control, including your job or current life and relationships. Many people who are “angry drunks” may feel resentful for things in their life they cannot change and angry at their situation. They use alcohol to cope with the unpleasant emotions, but the feelings are still there, ready to emerge once their inhibitions are lowered.
Treating alcoholism and anger issues requires comprehensive therapy for the addiction and exploring the underlying reasons the person started drinking. We can help. Hickory Treatment Centers offers a holistic approach to addiction, including rehabilitation and family therapy to help you rebuild relationships. Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options.