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Alcoholism and Psychology: Understanding the
Psychology of Alcoholism and Addiction

"Alcoholism and Psychology – What role does the psychology of alcoholism play in your addiction to alcohol and drugs - and what effects are you likely to experience as result?"

We know that one of the primary causes of alcoholism and drug addiction is genetic – which explains why alcoholism and addiction tends to pass down through families for generations as was the case in my family.

But alcoholism and drug addiction are extremely complex illnesses that being able to pin them down to any single cause is almost impossible. There are just so many factors at play that could explain why you end up an alcoholic or drug addict – for the main one’s I suggest you read the causes of alcoholism and causes of drug addiction pages to get my view on those.

alcoholism and psychology But when you begin to look at alcoholism and psychology from a different angle, which I explained in the piece on alcoholism and anxiety it throws an interesting perspective on things.

This premise, which I learned from Bill Harris, Director at Centerpointe Research Institute , views the psychology of alcoholism, addiction or any form of turmoil/suffering in your life as follows ...

We all have a mental/psychological threshold for how much we can handle from the ‘stuff’ life throws at us on a daily basis. This threshold is formed in your early childhood years and if you have suffered any kind of trauma - like for example having an alcoholic parent, being abused, losing a parent or just being brought up in a dysfunctional family environment, your threshold is likely to be much lower than that of someone brought up in a ‘normal’, loving and supportive type family environment.

That’s why two people who experience the exact same stimulus/situation, can respond in totally opposite ways – one person remains calm and collected, while the other gets totally stressed and even freaks out.

So as soon as your psychological or mental threshold is exceeded you tend to activate various coping mechanisms which can result in anything from depression, to anxiety, to alcoholism, and substance abuse.

Looking at alcoholism and psychology from that perspective makes a lot of sense. When I read it, I kind of had an A-Ha moment and realised that having a lower threshold than many of the people I know, has led me into things like depression and anxiety - and thereby needing alcohol and drugs to help me cope.

The solution then becomes to raise your mental threshold so that the things that push you over, no longer can, and so subsequently you no longer activate your destructive coping mechanisms. For more on that, also follow the Bill Harris link above.

The psychological effects of alcoholism therefore can be numerous. So in this section, we'll look at the following topics:

Depression and alcoholism are undoubtedly linked so hopefully by reading that page you’ll begin to better understand the influence they play on each other and what you can do about it.

Alcoholism and Anxiety also often go hand in hand and since I’ve also suffered from terrible anxiety most of my life, hopefully I’ll be able to make sense it all for you and offer you a couple of ideas that will hopefully improve things for you.

Understanding the Alcoholism Stages is also helpful to recognise how drinking evolves into alcoholism and the signs you need to look out for.

The addiction and Alcohol Withdrawal page will help you understand and properly deal with this agonising process so it's another one I suggest you take a look at.

So I really hope that by reading this section on alcoholism and psychology, you’ll have learnt something new that will really make a difference to you in trying to deal with and overcome your addictions.

If you haven't already done so - I suggest you sign up for my Free Six Part Addiction Uncovered E-Series - where I give you loads of little known tips, strategies and ideas for successfully beating and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Simply fill in your details in the form below - and the info will be on its way to you.

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