Signs And Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is an illness that affects many and symptoms of this illness are various and complex. Some of the symptoms of various alcoholism stages are:
- Drinking alone
- Having a strong need to drink.
- Being unable to stop drinking alcohol.
- Shaking or nausea when one doesn’t drink.
- Having legal and other problems with finances and with relationships.
- Developing a need for larger doses of alcohol and having the experience of sweating.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
- Inability to remember commitments that were made.
- Having a habit of drinking at certain times during the day and night.
- Becoming more irritable when drinking and drinking too much just to feel normal.
- Losing interest in things that used to bring pleasure and hiding alcohol at work and at home.
In addition, if you or someone you know need a drink before the day begins, feel guilty about drinking or become irritated when someone criticizes your drinking habits, then you have a alcohol problem.
If you or someone you know feels that drinking alcohol has taken over your life, it may be time to talk with your doctor. Other ways to get help with alcohol abuse are by joining Alcoholics Anonymous or getting help from a support group.
It is important to note that when a person is addicted to alcohol, the need for it happens over a period of time. If a person drinks for a long period of time, chemicals in the brain can be affected and make your body feel a need, a desire to have alcohol.
Factors Attributed to Alcoholism
- Being a man
- Drinking when you are young.
- Drinking on a regular basis.
- Being with those who drink often.
- Having a family history of alcoholism.
- Feeling depressed or feeling anxious about certain life situations.
Drinking not only affects how a person thinks and feels, it also causes other problems such as:
- Lowering one’s inhibitions
- Doing poorly at work or at school.
- Abusing a loved one or friend either physically or mentally.
- Getting involved in a car accident due to drinking and possibly committing a crime.
In addition, there are health problems that can arise from drinking alcohol such as hepatitis. One’s liver can be destroyed by drinking too much. Drinking too much can also bring on heart problems such as high blood pressure, stroke or heart failure. Another health problem that could develop is a problem with digestion and that can lead to another health problem such as damaging the pancreas.
Health Problems Associated with Alcoholism
- Bone loss
- Birth defects
- Weakness of one’s eyes
- Complication with diabetes
- Problems with your nervous system
- Problems with menstruation and erectile dysfunction
- Increased risk for certain types of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, liver, color, breast and throat.
When a person decides that he or she wants to get off of alcohol, there are certain withdrawal symptoms that will occur such as:
In addition, when an alcoholic decides that he or she needs treatment for their addiction, there are several treatment options such as:
Also, for those who have a serious alcohol problem where the usual treatment methods are not working, residential treatment programs may be the answer. These programs offer group and individual therapy, family involvement, support groups such a AA, therapy that involves certain activities and interacting with counselors and staff who have a solid background in treating alcoholism.
There are also certain lifestyle choices that need to be made once the decision to end drinking alcohol has been made such as:
- Eating well
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Staying away from those who are drinking.
- Finding activities that replace drinking.
- Developing better health habits such as getting good sleep.
In most cases, treatment for alcoholism begins with detoxification. This can last up to a week. Often, sedation medication is given to prevent or limit confusion or hallucination. This kind of treatment program is given in a hospital or inpatient alcohol treatment center. As part of an alcohol treatment plan, learning skills are given which include setting new and healthier goals, counseling and follow-up care.
Many alcoholics have been helped with psychological counseling. Such counseling as this helps a person to recover better because often one’s family is also involved in this process. Oral medications have helped many during the treatment process but if they are chosen, the patient must be monitored to ensure that the drugs are being effective.
Continuing support once the treatment program is finished is vital to ensure that the alcoholic recovers and doesn’t suffer from a relapse. Continuing support also helps a person to cope and adjust to lifestyle changes that are necessary and needed for a complete recovery.
In addition to continuing support, there may be treatment needed for psychological problems that occur as a result of the alcoholism such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety. Such psychological problems occur along with alcoholism and need to be treated because such treatment will help an alcoholic to recover more completely from this disease.
To conclude, alcoholism is an illness that affects many aspects in one’s life and can harm not only the person who suffers from it but also harm and affect those around him or her. However, there are certain treatments that can help an alcoholic to recover so that he or she can turn their life around and get out of the trouble that alcohol has been causing.