Discovering your anger triggers and finding mental health support made easy

A stint at a rehabilitation center for alcoholics prepares you physically and psychologically for the journey. Alcohol is known for its ability to amplify emotional expression and inhibition. While alcoholic rage syndrome it may seem like anger is the most common emotion caused by alcohol, it may not be that straightforward. Embracing this process requires courage and openness to seeking assistance when necessary.

Sometimes, little things like being unable to deal with or express a specific feeling can lead to an angry outburst. As a result, there’s a lot of trial and error throughout your recovery, including finding the best anger-management techniques for you. As if that wasn’t complex enough, anger can also result from inherited tendencies or brain chemistry. Furthermore, underlying mental health conditions might influence your trend towards angry outbursts.

Alcohol’s Effects on Stress

But these programs do not address only addiction – they also often offer counseling services to talk through your issues with anger. More than anything, a rehab program can help you create ways to deal with both alcoholism and anger. Even if you’re not ready to attend a more formal alcoholism rehab program or one-on-one counseling, it is a good idea to start attending an AA community support group.

Studies into the development of alcohol-related violence over time in problem drinkers have shown that the occurrence of aggression is increased following heavy, acute alcohol consumption. Two studies in prison inmates have reported that acute alcohol consumption occurring in the context of arrest correlated with an increased likelihood of violent offenses (12, 13). Unlike acute alcohol intoxication, however, chronic drinking behavior and drinking patterns in the 12 months before the offense did not differ between violent and non-violent criminals. Another study revealed that alcohol-dependent men had drunk significantly more alcohol in the 12 hours before violent conflicts with their partners than before situations that did not end in violence (14). Acute episodes of high alcohol consumption therefore seem to favor aggressive behavior more strongly than chronic alcohol consumption (15, 16).

Anger and Alcohol Risk Factors

These triggers can be diverse, ranging from stress and past trauma to daily frustrations or unmet needs. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can have adverse health consequences whenmixed with alcohol. These medications include many popular painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol); sedative drugs such as diazepam (Valium); and cough, cold, and allergy remedies. People taking medications should read the label and package inserts for possible interactions with alcohol or other drugs, especially if they have multiple drinks on an occasion. People who consume alcohol should ask their doctor or pharmacist about interactions with alcohol and the medications they are taking.

Future research should assess gender as a moderator of treatment outcome and use that information to inform the content of alcohol-adapted anger management for alcohol dependent men and women. Prevention efforts can also be directed at the potential impact of bystanders, who are oftentimes present in interpersonal violence situations [42]. The bystander approach to violence prevention aims to prepare individuals to intervene when they witness situations that involve or could potentially lead to aggression. This approach has been identified as a promising strategy to prevent sexual violence [43] and intimate partner violence [44]. Unfortunately, this work does not account for the role of alcohol use.

Alcohol and Aggression: A Neuroscience Perspective

Not to mention, recovering alcoholics that don’t manage anger are at higher risk of relapse. Anger can have various culprits, sometimes rational, others irrational. Triggers such as losing your patience, injustice, and feeling under-appreciated can all spur anger feelings. Also, feelings of grief or memories of traumatic experiences can trigger it. Someone who experiences passive anger may appear calm and have difficulty expressing their feelings. A number of research
studies have confirmed something that makes a lot of intuitive sense – people
who often get very angry and act aggressively while sober are very likely to
get even more aggressive and angry when drunk.

  • When you drink alcohol, parts of your brain that manage anger are suppressed, making it more likely for angry feelings to bubble to the surface.
  • But the best choice for you and the people around you is to enter treatment and work to become a better person.
  • At posttreatment, those clients completing the Forgiveness Therapy sessions reported greater improvements in composite anger and anxiety relative to those clients completing the alcohol and drug counselling sessions.
  • Mental rigidity and alcohol consumption have been explored as contributing to domestic violence.
  • With the right kind of help, you can put anger and alcoholism behind you and move toward a happier, healthier life.

An earlier study found that alcohol use enhanced aggression primarily among individuals who showed a heightened disposition for such behavior (Eckhardt and Crane, 2008). They were directed to engage in a task with the potential to trigger aggressive verbalizations, with those who consumed alcohol showing significantly more such behavior. Intimate partner violence is of great concern when it comes to alcohol and anger.

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