The debate weather alcoholism is a disease or simple will power has been an issue for many years. The research I have conducted in this field has led me to be believe that alcoholism is a chronic disease affected by many factors including social, environmental and strong genetic influences. Alcohol is just like any other disorder, its dependency is a progressive disease that works as a depressant and it’s psychological effects can be more painful and difficult to cope with than physical effects. This research will discuss the addiction and treatment possibilities on the Psychological effects of Alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a condition in which individuals drink alcohol regularly and to the extreme. It is found in all liquor, wines and beers and its main ingredient is ethanol. Alcoholism is a powerful disabling disease affecting people in all walks of life it is characterized by being an addictive disorder it distorts the ability to think rationally, an individual will experience problems retrieving, gathering and processing a decision, they also will experience challenges within their day to day functions among that it also impairs the ability to abstain from alcohol despite the negative consequences. A small number of the psychological effects of alcoholism include anxiety, chronic depression, aggression, loss of control, resentment and feeling useless. Some of these effects start early in the disease and get progressively worse as the person consumes a large amount of alcohol and gets closer to chronic alcoholism. Alcohol as a disease of the brain acts as a depressant that ultimately decreases activity within the central nervous system of the brain. Individuals who suffer from the disease view alcohol as a coping method to drown their sorrows in an attempt to make the feeling of emptiness and sadness go away. However, while intoxicated they tend to have a massive personality change and may become selfish, angry and even violent about their life and everything in it. The disease affects one’s life in many ways, it has a high potential of leading to loss of employment, lack of financial support, divorce, legal consequences and often results in incarceration. While the damage is profound to the individual who is suffering from it, the consequences that impact the people surrounded by it are just as significant specifically the children of the chronic alcoholic, because of the genetic heritability of alcohol along with the traumatic event surrounding an alcoholic parent the child has a slight chance of pursuing a life without the disease. Psychologically alcoholism does vary between men and women, for instance a man drinks due to loss of family, however a woman is more likely to drink while experiencing marital problems additionally women tend to have a lower alcohol tolerance as well as a higher mortality rate than men. Alcohol is a drug that needs to be controlled and not advertised as a socially pleasurable substance. Like many chronic diseases it is another question whether alcoholism can be cured or not. The disease in its self is medically defined as a treatable disease. The challenge here is how one approaches to treat this chronic disease successfully. The single most important factor is that the individual suffering from the disease must acknowledge the problem they have and be ready to treat it. Once the decision has been made one must check into a facility that will help them individually deal with the coping methods. There are many approachable ways for this to occur, one way to approach this disease like any other requires detoxification, meaning withdrawal from the substance where the body and mind of the substance abuser go thru many changes including sweating and shaking however it is highly important that this process be monitored with extreme care due to the life threatening complications that follow detoxification including seizure, hallucinations and possible heart failure. The first few weeks of withdrawal tend to be the worst there after the physical and psychological symptoms tend to decrease and improve over time. A number of supportive therapy groups and rehabilitation is required for an individual to refrain from any intake of alcohol. The most common way of helping an individual cope with alcoholism is the group therapy approach, it helps maintain sobriety with continuous support. The best known organization for individuals who suffer from the disease is Alcoholics Anonymous, they provide nonprofessional support from individuals who are among the ones suffering, coping or recovering from the disease. Many patients who are chronic alcoholics will relapse before they obtain control over the substance. Recovering alcoholics must work closely together with their support group and physician to overcome the emotional and physical effects of chronic alcoholism.
There is no test one can conduct to determine whether an idividual is an alcoholic or not just as there is no one specific cure for it and each case is individually based. Not all psychological effects will require the same treatment and not everyone will overcome the addiction. The debate will continue within society our opinions and all the possible research that can be done will not fully result in a common cure. For as long as there is a demand for the substance there will be a supply. We educate our children about many obstacles in life, however more emphasis needs to be put towards alcohol and its life threatening addiction. Early education is the key to refraining from the substance.