Alcohol and Anger Management

What type of drunk are you? It is well-known that people react to alcohol in many different ways; you will get the loud drunk whose volume increases with every drink they consume, the emotional drunk who can be found crying and professing their love to strangers following one too many, and then there is the angry drunk – the one whom will always end up in an argument once they are drunk. At best these arguments will remain verbal, but often they will result in physical aggression too; either towards objects or people. If you are the angry drunk, it is likely that you have learned to limit your consumption to avoid these situations – that is of course, unless you are an alcoholic, in which case try as you might, these angry outbursts are likely to happen all too often.

A study by American psychologist, Brad Bushman in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed anger is more prevalent in those less able to think through the consequences of their actions – well that sums up alcoholism to a tee. Nobody in their right mind would deliberately set out to argue with friends or loved ones, but with alcohol addiction, the person is convinced they can remain in control and that “this time will be different.” Unfortunately, to those around the person, it is painfully obvious that this time will be just as bad as previous occasions, if not worse. However, addiction will trick the individual into convincing themselves they are the one in control, when in reality it is the alcohol that is in control.

One of the key features of any addiction is denial, and accepting that alcohol is not the answer is extremely difficult for an alcoholic. Often these individuals may use alcohol to relax, or supress their anger – however alcohol is probably the least effective form of anger management going; it lowers inhibitions that are often there for a reason. Stone-cold sober it is highly unlikely that anyone would highlight a partner’s shortcomings, and yet once alcohol is on board that seems the logical solution, “why shouldn’t I tell them how much I hate their laugh/appearance/family?” and often this damage is extremely difficult to repair – trust is destroyed and relationships crumble.

All of these factors are reasons why a large element of addiction therapy will focus on anger management; it is vital that the person learns to communicate their anger effectively so that it does not boil over inside of them, and so that other people do not bear the brunt of the anger. If you or a loved one feel you have issues with alcohol and anger management then get in contact – we can help stop this vicious circle.


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UK Addiction Treatment Group.

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