The “mean drunk”: when alcohol abuse unleashes anger and violence


The “mean drunk”: when alcohol abuse unleashes anger and violenceHave you ever regretted what you did when you were drinking?

The fact that alcohol acts as a suppressant on your internal inhibitions or self-control has been well documented.

There are countless YouTube videos documenting the out of character, alcohol influenced actions that can be quite embarrassing for the people involved Of course, compared to other, more life changing events – like deaths due to drunk driving – that can take place under the influence of alcohol, a compromising YouTube video may be the least of your worries. If you don’t want to end up in that situation, read on.

Alcohol consumption depletes your awareness and response to external social cues. When these internal and external controls on behaviour are suppressed, the true internal state of a person is more likely to be expressed and without any regard for the consequences.

This means that you could become a “happy drunk” or a “mean drunk.” While “happy drunks’ can be the fun loving life of the party, on the darker side of the spectrum, the “mean drunk” appears because alcohol use can liberate the anger and violence that exists internally. Many times, this anger and violence is directed at loved onesand can have lifelong negative effects.

If you are concerned about your anger when under the influence of alcohol, try the following steps:

  • Experiment with some self-imposed limits on alcohol use
  • Recruit your friends and family to support you by holding more ‘dry’ or alcohol optional events
  • Try a few brief periods of abstinence or sobriety

Pay attention,and see if you notice a difference in your expression of uncontrolled anger? Was it difficult to limit the amount or use of alcohol?

Modifying your drinking habits and exploring your anger response can be a daunting experience. There is no reason do this on your own! There are several support options available to you:

  • Professional help from a counsellor or medical doctor
  • Alcohol and drug services community support branches
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Self-help groups like AA
  • Trusted friend or loved one

Acknowledging that you may be dealing with an anger and alcohol issue is not easy. Admitting to shortcomings is difficult for most of us. Reach out to others for support to move towards a healthier lifestyle.

To connect with a counselor and create a plan for positive change, visit us at WorkHealthLife


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