You may be feeling as though your friends and family have been making a lot of comments related to your drinking habits lately. You might be thinking to yourself, “It’s just a few drinks and I’ve been taking care of all my responsibilities – what’s the problem?” While it might seem that your drinking is under control, hearing concerns from loved ones is a sign that you need to re-evaluate your drinking patterns to make sure that you aren’t developing dependence or alcoholism. Preventative measures are important to ensure you’re on the right track to leading a happy, healthy, long-lived life. The following are some reasons why your loved ones may be concerned about you, and these are reasons to believe that you may have a drinking problem:
- You become very irritable and have major mood swings when you haven’t had a drink in a while. Alcohol use affects the brain by releasing dopamine in the reward pathways – once your body has gotten used to the pleasure associated with alcohol use, it can become dependent on this release in order to feel relaxed and in a good mood. If you suddenly stop drinking, lack of dopamine production can cause you to feel very irritable and moody.
- You have a drink first thing in the morning. This is a sign of psychological dependence if you feel that you need a drink to face the day, and a sign of physical dependence if you experience withdrawal symptoms overnight.
- You experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, nausea, tremors, anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, irritability, confusion, insomnia, and more are all signs that you have a drinking problem.
- You’ve lost interest in any activities that don’t involve drinking. If you used to enjoy attending your child’s games, meeting up with the book club and participating in sports but no longer wish to engage in these things because you can’t drink, it’s a sign you need help.
- You’re unable to control the amount of alcohol you consume. Alcoholism affects the way chemicals in the brain communicate with one another, meaning that a change in your brain structure is taking place with alcoholism. If you find yourself drinking often and unable to stop, you need to seek treatment.
All in all, your family cares about you and wants to see you happy and healthy. Many people don’t seek treatment because they believe they don’t have a problem – this is due to the addiction. If you relate to these signs or if alcohol is negatively affecting other areas of your life, speak with someone from a reputable treatment center today.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.