Why Are Alcoholics So Mean to the Ones They Love?

The present study is going to explore the relationship of anger with treatment outcome among alcohol users after 1 year of treatment. The data for the present study were taken from the project work on correlates of anger among alcohol users, funded by center for addiction medicine, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Family members go about their days—and years—confused and frustrated, wondering why the person has been so mean. This is why it’s so important for loved ones to get help and support. Abuse should not be tolerated, and safe housing must be provided.

How does alcoholism affect personality?

Alcohol increases irritability and decreases inhibitions. With this combination, there is a chance you could be more mean or aggressive toward others. Alcohol clouds your judgment and leads to communication problems. This is especially true if the other person is also under the influence.

Alcohol disrupts normal brain function and impairs information processing. This can cause the brain to misunderstand certain social cues, making situations seem like there is more of a threat or reason to act out then there actually is. Alcohol can also affect bodily chemicals like testosterone and serotonin, causing the brain to function abnormally in some individuals. You should take sensible steps to avoid placing yourself in situations with an angry drunk. If you are close to someone who experiences alcohol-induced anger, it’s important to get help and support.

Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

People with AUD are often verbally abusive, emotionally volatile, and may struggle with serious depression, anxiety, and anger. At the end of the day, alcohol is a depressant and interferes with the central nervous system’s ability to interpret and react to what’s going on around it. Social cues become difficult, emotions are less regulated and critical thinking skills suffer greatly. Alcohol makes it harder for those with anger management issues to judge a situation and prevent a hostile reaction.

alcoholism and anger

Such factors including head injury, neurochemistry, physiological reactivity, metabolism, and genetics. You’re making huge changes in the way you live life and that is something to celebrate. You’re not going to get this perfect, that that’s completely okay. You are learning how to live a fully expressed life, and there is beauty in the messiness of it all—even the anger. The reasons we experience anger are endless, especially for the marginalized or underrepresented. In those early days in recovery, you might feel like an exposed nerve and everything might seem too bright or too intense.


If you don’t know how to express anger, your frustrations can make you miserable or cause you to explode in an angry outburst. A lack of impulse control can make a person unable to resist the sudden, forceful urge to fly into a rage or act aggressively. There are a number of cognitive, neurobiological, and social factors that can influence how alcohol affects aggression.

Why does alcohol make you argumentative?

Alcohol affects the brain causing lower inhibitions, which makes us feel more confident. But lower inhibitions can also make us say or do something that we may come to regret. And this can lead to arguments.

You might have been dealing with anger for years and not understanding that the reason it won’t go away is because you haven’t healed the underlying hurt. Research has shown that thought suppression may contribute to alcohol-related aggression. One study supporting this finding enlisted 245 men with a history of heavy episodic alcohol use (Berke et al., 2020).

Getting Treatment for Alcoholism

Ultimately, nobody knows what comes first⁠—anger or alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, some studies have been done to better understand who is more at risk. Instead of being a natural emotion, someone with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) will express anger to avoid dealing with unpleasant or adverse circumstances, including the addiction.

It might be that you need to tune in, which can look like a yoga session or mindfulness meditation. Both of these practices take concentration and effort, which like exercise, can help you tune into what you’re feeling and might help lessen the physical response. Once the physical response is lessened, anger becomes more manageable. In early sobriety though, we must learn how to deal with anger in healthy and sustainable ways. Emotions can feel overwhelming in early recovery, especially the difficult ones, and it takes a while to figure out how to manage them. One emotion, anger, might feel particularly overpowering, and for good reason.

The Effects of Alcohol-Related Aggression

They will not be in their right mind, and you are unlikely to get a rational response at all, so attempts are often futile. When combined with other evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/the-connection-between-alcoholism-and-anger/ therapy (CBT), MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery. Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization programs.

  • An example would be if you were to get cut off by another driver on a busy or chaotic highway.
  • Specifically, they exhibited a reduced capacity to detect sadness and fear and a reduced tendency towards seeing happiness.
  • Often, when children, spouses and other loved ones spend time close to someone who becomes abusive when they drink, their lives change for the worse.
  • After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life.
  • As a result, you may miss specific social and environmental cues that can help you rationally interpret situations.

They can learn to recognize potential triggers and how to safely manage them. It means that a person tends to lose control of their emotions when drunk and become volatile and enraged easily. This can often be a result https://ecosoberhouse.com/ of affected brain function from alcohol, rather than simply a personality issue that makes a person angry when drunk. This occurs in long-term relationships such as marriage, as well as all dating scenarios.

From Table 2, the mean scores of Anger expression out, anger expression in, anger expression outside, and anger control inside among the two groups and they are not statistically significant. The mean scores of trait anger and state anger of relapsers are significantly different from the abstainers. When the time comes that the alcoholic is ready to enter a treatment program they will participate in a variety of different therapies. Rehab will begin with a detox, where the toxins from the alcohol are expelled from the body. Once the individual has become stable they will be ready to engage in therapy.

Drinking cocktails that include energy drinks should be considered a possible factor for aggressive behavior as well. Researchers surveyed 175 young adults who mixed alcohol with caffeinated energy drinks about their verbal and physical aggression in bar conflicts. Results showed enough escalation in people consuming these drinks to label the beverages a “potential risk” to increased hostility. As with all co-occurring disorders, it’s important to treat anger management issues and AUD at the same time as part of a comprehensive treatment program. When someone battles AUD, they are also less likely to consistently take care of regular obligations, which can impact interpersonal relationships and their home environment.

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