What Is Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism?
Not many people realise how thin the line is between social drinking and what is considered alcohol abuse or alcohol misuse. If the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse are ignored, the chance of developing alcoholism (alcohol dependency) is greatly increased.
Some of the signs pointing to alcohol abuse include; drinking more than you had planned to, memory loss or blackouts from a night of drinking, lying to others about the quantity of alcohol you drink, drinking alcohol to relieve stress, to relax or to improve your mood. Further signs show that Alcohol abuse does not just affect you: your friends and family may have commented on your drinking habits and are worried about you, responsibilities and activities in your life (work, school, children) are neglected because of your drinking habits and relationships in your life have become problematic and may have deteriorated as a result of your drinking habits.
Alcoholism has all of the same signs as alcohol abuse but it is more serious because of an actual physical dependency on alcohol.
Psychological treatment can be an effective method to overcome the challenges of alcohol misuse and alcohol dependency. As alcoholism is a chronic condition, in which the temptation and addiction of alcohol is life-long, the focus on treatment is on helping the individual overcome these urges and not give in to their addiction. Our Psychologists at The Mental health Company will work with the individual to help them to reduce their drinking or stop drinking completely depending on their individual goal of treatment. All of our Psychologists are fully qualified and hold a current membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland.
How We Can Help
Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
Generally, the psychological treatment for alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction will involve a cognitive behavioural therapy approach, which works on altering your behaviour and changing your attitude and pattern of thinking towards alcohol. Often alcoholism is directly linked to emotional difficulties or mental conditions and if this is the case the psychologist will work through these difficulties with you. It is important to note that we can only offer an out-patient service to people who have gone through a treatment/recovery programme and are not actively misusing alcohol.
For alcohol misuse or abuse, deeper exploration of relevant childhood and historical factors that may have led to the substance abuse in the first place is important. For serious and chronic alcohol dependency, our Psychologists will explore any possible unconscious issues, in order to help understand the addiction more thoroughly.
Find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy here.