Surely each of us in one way or anotherfaced with the problem of alcoholism and will not argue with the fact that his face is terrible. The horror is that this ulcer affects not only the dependent person, but also his family, friends and even colleagues. That is why you need to know as much as possible what alcoholism is, symptoms and stages of its course, the causes of it - everything that will help you in time to recognize and prevent this phenomenon.
What is alcoholism?
You've probably heard different points of view on thisproblem: alcoholism as an incurable disease, alcoholism as a destiny of the weak, alcoholism as a way of life, etc. ... So what is alcoholism? Currently, in medicine and psychology, it is commonly believed that this is still a disease. Its essence - in the pathological craving for alcohol in any of its forms, accompanied by physical and mental dependence. The alcoholic can not overcome this craving, no reasonable arguments on him do not work (at least in reality, and not in words). Alcoholism develops as a result of prolonged and fairly regular use of alcohol. It has devastating consequences for the human body, career, family and other important spheres in his life. It is alcoholism that is the most frequent reason for family quarrels, a bad psychological climate in the family and its disintegration in the future. There is no need to talk long and in detail about how negative alcohol affects the human body. Drunkenness is harmful to almost all parts of the human body. Alcohol can cause problems with the heart, with the stomach, with blood vessels and the circulatory system, reducing immunity, but most of all it harms the liver, kidneys, pancreas and, of course, the nervous system. In many ways, the destruction of the alcoholic personality is due to the deterioration of the brain, but this is not the only reason. This is also facilitated by the fact that from the life of a person absolutely any other meaning disappears, except for booze. The alcoholic works to drink, he does not care about everything else, and soon he ceases to work at all. Alcoholism has a terrible impact on children who grow up in families with an alcoholic parent - they do not get the right amount of support, caring love, after all, they do not get a normal idea of what a family is and what a husband and wife should be like for example, many women remain with their alcoholic husbands because "the children need a father", but the consequence is often problems with alcohol in the sons and problems with alcoholics in the daughters of these women). In all these words there is nothing new, but when faced with the problem of alcoholism again and again, you are increasingly convinced of their correctness. This is the insidiousness of alcoholism - sneaking up unnoticed, it brings grief and horror to everything that comes into contact. And it is very unfortunate that this problem is so widespread that almost every woman touches it one way or another. Many of our readers are interested in how alcoholism develops and develops. This necessarily raises the question of the boundary between the simple use of alcohol and dependence on it. In reality, there is no clear separation of the alcoholic from the drinker, because someone is able to drink a bottle of vodka every evening and not be an alcoholic, and someone and a couple of bottles of beer bring serious problems. Psychologists believe that alcoholism begins when binge becomes a hindrance to a full life. Man ceases to solve working problems, reduces the productivity of his thinking and activities, and sometimes he completely skips work. He less and less communicates with teetotal friends, because he is no longer interested in any other topics than drinking. The circle of his interests somehow closes around alcohol and related topics. Family and friends can not help noticing such a development of events, and on this basis there are scandals, quarrels, misunderstanding, deception and other unpleasant things.
Stages of development of alcoholism
Alcoholism does not occur instantaneously, but developsslowly, and this is the main difficulty: since the symptoms of alcoholism are increasing gradually, the changes are not so obvious to the surrounding alcoholic people and even more so to himself. The reasons for all the negativity that occurs in the life of an alcoholic are sought not so much in drinking, as in fatigue, social situations or family problems (no one realizes that these problems are increasing along with the amount of alcohol consumed). There are certain stages of alcoholism, which it passes in its development. They are characterized by a gradual increase in dependence on alcohol, a decrease in self-control with regard to drinking, as well as the growing development of all kinds of bodily diseases that always accompany chronic alcoholism. There are people who do not drink at all. They are not at all threatened by alcoholism, but such people are simply an insignificant amount (alcoholics in remission, unfortunately, can not be attributed to them). There is a notion of the so-called "zero" stage of alcoholism or the view - this is "household drunkenness". He is exposed to people who drink alcohol, but in moderate doses, usually with friends or on holidays. They rarely get drunk to unconsciousness or any other serious consequences. At this stage, a person can really stop drinking at any time, and for any period. To him, of course, it will bring certain inconveniences and unpleasant emotions, however, by and large, it does not really matter to him whether there is a binge in the short term. Alcohol, drunk in the company, practically does not require the continuation of booze alone. Unfortunately, this "zero" stage with the regular and frequent use of alcohol with a high probability will lead to the beginning of the formation of alcohol dependence throughout the year. As a rule, the role of a risk factor in this case is psychological addiction to alcohol and its effects. And then comes the first stage of alcoholism. As you already understood, at first the person simply drinks. The alarm bell begins to ring at the moment when large amounts of alcohol are consumed at different intervals. As a rule, it is connected with feasts and holidays, after which the alcoholic continues to "buzz" for a few more days. In the intervals, a strong craving for alcohol is generally absent, and the person is quietly engaged in his ordinary affairs. But gradually the body gets used to such doses of alcohol, and for their usual merriment, it becomes few. If before that person was fond of light liquor, then now goes to the strong. Gradually, an attraction to alcohol is formed, manifested in the fact that people no longer simply support the company and traditions, but they themselves are looking for an excuse for drinking. In the future, drunkenness becomes more and more systematic. Such a drunkard is almost unable to keep from drinking alcohol at every opportunity. He loses control over the amount of alcohol consumed: after drinking once, he feels a strong need to continue drinking until the state of deep intoxication. Disappears protective gag reflex (even if a person drank very, very much), which indicates the resistance to alcohol. Beginning in the morning, a person can not remember how he came home or quarreled with his wife. Gradually, alcoholism develops, the craving for alcohol takes an increasingly pathological and irresistible character. Binge becomes the main meaning and purpose in life. For her, he sweeps away any obstacles in his path, whether it's scandals in the family or the banal lack of money. From this begins a gradual destruction of personality - the alcoholic strongly deteriorates character: he becomes lying, irritable, tactless, rude, aggressive and picky. Also, other negative traits of character are also sharpened: resentment, egocentrism, bragging. The main sign of the onset of the second stage of alcoholism is the occurrence of an abstinence syndrome, or "hangover". It begins to pursue a victim of alcohol dependence at different times: someone reaches the second stage in ten years, and someone and three few. And no, this is not the hangover with which we all are familiar, at least once in my life I have tried alcohol! For an alcoholic it is much more severe and somewhat reminiscent of heroin withdrawal from drug addicts. At first it manifests itself with notorious headache, trembling of hands and weakness in the whole body and is accompanied by aversion to alcohol. But in the future a person needs a certain softening of a hangover with a small portion of alcohol. If an alcoholic indulges this, then his withdrawal symptoms are exacerbated - there are sleep disorders and mental disorders. Some people experience these unpleasant feelings for a week. Unfortunately, abstinence syndrome is a signal about the beginning of irreversible changes in the human body. Having arisen once, he no longer leaves the alcoholic for the rest of his life, even if he will abstain from alcohol for a long time. Another manifestation of the second stage of alcoholism is the appearance in a sober form of a strong uncontrolled need for alcohol, which usually leads to drinking. At first they have a very short length - two, maybe three days, arise only after consuming quite large amounts of alcohol and can stop at the will of the alcoholic. But, unfortunately, over time, craving for alcohol becomes insurmountable, and binges can last for two to three weeks. If an alcoholic runs out of money, he begins to drink the cheapest alcohol and its surrogates. A person can abstain from alcohol, but if you drop a drop of alcohol into his mouth, then write is gone - the alcoholic falls into a new binge. In the intervals between them, all kinds of fears, anxiety, apathy and depression are increasingly being tormented by him, even slight hallucinations, deterioration of thinking, attention and memory can be observed. The destruction of the personality continues: if earlier a person behaved like a "pig" only in a state of intoxication, now it goes into ordinary sober life. He becomes ruthless to close people, more and more brags everyones trifles, becomes passive and tired in everything, except for asking money for alcohol. The second stage, for the most part, lasts less than ten years, but in rare cases is delayed to fifteen. After it comes the third, "initial" stage of alcoholism - usually it occurs in ten to twenty years of drunkenness. The main sign - a sharp decrease in the resistance of the body to alcohol: if before a person can drink a lot of alcohol, then now it is enough for two hundred grams. The alcoholic drinks alcohol constantly, but in small doses many times a day. He practically does not get sober, and this is his constant craving for alcohol. Bars are of a cyclic nature. First, the alcoholic drinks a small amount of alcohol (up to one liter), and then grows aversion to alcohol, which causes a spontaneous ending of the drinking-bout. The way out is accompanied by various ailments and painful sensations. After a while, the unbearable need for alcohol returns, and the first sip leads to drinking. Alcoholics at this stage have signs of profound degradation: they completely lose any interest in life, the desire for spiritual development, the ability to learn and work. The green serpent controls them completely. At the same time alcoholics do not want to really get rid of his slavery (sometimes they say such a desire, but it does not correspond to the truth), their whole life is reduced to searching and begging for funds for drinking.
Symptoms of alcohol dependence
So, you read a detailed description of howpeople gradually plunges into the abyss of alcoholism. Of course, each stage of development of alcoholism corresponds to its own set of symptoms, but there are also common ones that will help you see the approaching danger in this situation. So, speech can go about alcoholism if its psychological signs are observed:
- A strong need or craving for alcohol, which, as a rule, is uncontrollable and irresistible.
- Loss of ability to control the use of alcohol, i.e. a person can not influence the beginning, end and dosage of the drink.
- Reduction in the number of alternatives to alcoholgoals, interests and meanings in life. Booze takes an increasing place, and everything that is associated with it: snack, drinking companions, finding means and obstacles to alcoholization.
- Increase the harm that alcohol does to various spheres of a person's life. The alcoholic will continue to drink, despite the health problems, in the psyche, at work and in relationships with others.
- Denial of alcohol problems. A person's perception of reality decreases: he seems to be all right, he does not drink much, and if he exceeds the dose, it's not terrible - he needs to come to himself, how he can "turn mountains."
- Changes in the emotional sphere. The person becomes grumpy and irritable, he often has attacks of apathy and bad mood (especially in a sober mood), tension and psychological discomfort.
- Increased fatigue and reduced efficiency. Man is less and less working, and it's better to keep silent about the ability to learn and solve mental problems.
- A lot of time is spent in talking and thinking about alcohol: how to get it, use it, with whom, etc. ... The attitude to alcohol is positive: he is given an important role and place in a person's life.
- Negative changes in the personality and character of the alcoholic: lying, aggressiveness, rudeness, boastfulness, ingratiating behavior, fussiness and other unpleasant phenomena.
- The alcoholic's sense of humor is distorted (and indeed it is one of the main indicators of the person's mental and moral development). His jokes become coarse, stupid, flat and tactless.
- The alcoholic stops taking care of himself and taking care of himselfThe impression he makes on others. It becomes sloppy and dirty, it smells unpleasant, it looks bad and often behaves without taking into account generally accepted norms of behavior.
In order to be able to talk about drunkenness,all symptoms should not necessarily be present. However, if you are confronted with most of them, then with a high probability it can be argued that this is alcoholism. The complexity of perception is caused by the fact that alcoholics actually change in different ways. Someone becomes more rude and somebody is soft, despite the fact that they are opposites. The presence of such opposites led narcologists to the idea of different types of destruction of the alcoholic's personality. In total four variants of personal degradation are described: apathetic, explosive, hysterical and asthenic syndromes. Apathetic is expressed in the passivity of the alcoholic, lack of interests, a depressed mood and unwillingness to do anything, to think about something other than binge. Such people, as a rule, are low-emotional and inexpressive. The explosive type can not be confused with anything: it is a loud, rude and impulsive person who is easily annoyed and, in the rush of his anger, is fully capable of bringing moral and physical harm to another person. Hysterical variant is distinguished by cunning, resourcefulness and falsehood: it will easily strike you with three boxes - just to get your three pennies for a bottle of vodka. Sometimes he even forgets that it's a lie. And the last, asthenic type is manifested in fatigue, reduced efficiency, inability to concentrate attention and thinking on something for a long time. Mental and mental disorders come to the fore.
The causes of alcohol dependence
Many women are tormented by sacramental issues - inwhat are the causes of alcoholism? Why does it affect some people, while others find it quite stable? Unfortunately, there is no unequivocal answer to them, and articles in newspapers such as "British scientists discovered the gene responsible for alcoholism" from a knowledgeable person can cause only a sad grin: the gene may have been discovered, but how other factors can influence it as well - absolutely incomprehensible. Currently, psychologists describe the following causes of alcoholism, dividing them into groups: external, family, personal and emotional factors. As a rule, none of them acts in isolation: you will agree that a person does not get drunk solely from insecurity, but if you add other traits and family troubles to her, it can put him at risk. Very often, when analyzing what motivates a person to drink, the following approach is used: the causes of alcoholism that has influenced a person for a long time, and the cause, whose influence could be short-lived, are singled out, but it was the last straw and triggered the withdrawal into drunkenness. External factors, as a rule, include some negative events or phenomena in the life of a person. They rarely act as an independent cause of alcoholism, but can serve as an excellent trigger mechanism. In the role of such things may be a psychotraumatic event (for example, rape), divorce, dismissal from work, loss of a loved one - in general, almost any dramatically negative and significant event. Someone fairly tolerates these troubles, and someone is looking for a way out in the wine - often this is facilitated by appropriate personal, emotional and family factors. The family is one of the most important spheres in the life of every person. It is she who normally gives us a feeling of warmth, love and care, self-confidence, teaches us to live in society according to his rules. Unfortunately, not every family performs its functions in the life of its members, and some families in general are capable of bringing much bitterness and misfortune. Symptoms of a "problem" family are:
- Absence of education and training in social norms
- Low level of psychological comfort
- Conflict atmosphere, tension
- Separation between parents
- Absence of some family members
- Hyperopeka from the side of parents
- Authoritarianism in Parental Behavior
A problem family can not provide a childnecessary for him to love and not teach him to love himself, and this in turn leads to the fact that the child feels "bad", useless and useless. Thus, a low self-esteem is instilled in the child, and he experiences difficulties with self-esteem. In problem families, there are often difficulties in expressing and describing the emotions experienced, and this "infects" the child. The absence of boundaries in the family is another negative factor: it is very bad if none of the members has a personal space, and the children are very attached to their parents, and vice versa. In such families, someone's alcoholism can act as a lever of pressure on the others. A very important role in the emergence of alcoholism is played by personality characteristics of a person. Psychologists describe the following character traits that increase the risk of dependent behavior: infantility, stereotyped behavior, inadequate self-esteem, dependency and dependence on other people's opinions, self-centeredness, low self-control, low stress tolerance, shifting responsibility to others, vulnerability and failure to take into account criticism, high claims to life, intolerance to obstacles in meeting desires. Also the likelihood of alcoholism increases some features of the emotional sphere of a person: anxiety, depressiveness or euphoria, impulsiveness, the presence of chronic fears and feelings of guilt. A great contribution to the development of alcoholism is what makes a person drink. Strangely enough, all drunkards have different motives.
- Following the traditions and cultural norms. For example, the tradition of drinking on holidays, "being shown" for a birthday, "thanking" alcohol, etc. ... - we all know how important alcohol is in the life of a Russian person.
- Subjugation to the pressure of others. This is the notorious "let's drink with us!" And "how do you not drink?" In response to a message that today you do not drink. In some alcoholics, this is generally one of the prevailing motives.
- "Alcoholic values." A man drinks, but seeks to furnish this business beautifully and tastefully: good and expensive alcohol, a delicious appetizer, the right setting and the company. Unfortunately, in such an atmosphere it's easy enough to get drunk, because in the life of such a person alcohol is of great value.
- Thrust to pleasure. Such a person in a state of intoxication is experiencing only positive emotions and satisfaction. Drinking, he always wants to have fun and experience alcoholic euphoria.
- The desire to escape from unpleasant experiences, such as sadness, sadness, anxiety, stress through alcohol. This category includes people who drink after work in order to relax.
- Getting a charge of vigor and energy, bringing yourself into tone. These people activate themselves by drinking - alcohol gives such a degree of emotions and sensations that allows them to get rid of boredom.
So, alcoholism is very, very scary. The chances of getting rid of him are few, but, fortunately, they are. Sometimes the recovery from alcoholism is that a person can abstain from drinking for many years, only occasionally "breaking down". But assessing and analyzing your own situation is often incredibly difficult, because you are inside it. This requires the help of people from the outside - a psychologist, girlfriends or just unfamiliar people with whom you can share your problems - only in this way you can get an unbiased opinion of what is going on. If you are near an alcoholic, then you also suffer, and the name of this suffering is codependence. This is a special condition that occurs in people who are close to a drunkard. It is characterized by constant fear, the inability to openly express emotions and discuss problems in relationships, as well as feelings of guilt and pity. The co-addicts believe that an alcoholic should be treated, but they do not understand that they also need help. In general, this is a topic for a separate article, since codependence is also a violation having its own causes, symptoms and mechanisms. The main thing that needs to be understood is that your pity and feeling closes the vicious circle of alcoholism of your partner. You can try to persuade him to be treated and try to do something together for this, but if he wants to continue drinking, then you can not do anything. And you have one life, and only you can break the vicious circle and start living humanly and for yourself.