Jan 12 2013

Have an issue with alcohol? How do you know if you are an abuser of alcohol or a full blown alcoholic?

viciado em álcoolVol. 183, Jan. 12, 2013

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism occur rather subtly in most circumstances. What began as a way to have a bit of fun letting loose becomes a dangerous situation with the lack of impulse control involved allowing for fatal car accidents, promiscuous sexual affairs, black outs and in some cases even death from alcohol poisoning. The main reason that alcohol gets out of control is to let go of the self-depreciating thoughts that run through one’s mind. It is a fact that most alcoholics become this way because they are fighting depression, unwilling in many cases to go on medication or take another more holistic course of action to resolve the problem.


So, what does the bible of the psychiatric field, the DSM- V -TR  have to say about alcohol abuse and alcoholism? Substance dependence (alcoholism in this case) would involve reaching a tolerance level where a need to achieve intoxication or desired effect, where the desired effect is greatly diminished with the continued use of the substance. Upon stopping the use of the alcohol withdrawal is manifested by sweating, pulse rate higher than 100, hand tremor, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, transient visual, tactile or auditory hallucinations, psychomotor agitation, anxiety, grand mal seizures.


Alcohol abuse can be diagnosed if it’s use resulted in a failure to fulfill major obligations: at work, home, or school, where it is used and could be dangerous as in drinking and driving, causes legal problems or despite having recurrent interpersonal problems by the effects of the substance.


Now there are two types of alcoholics and I don’t mean the funny ones and the nasty ones, though these types do exist. I am speaking of the type that binges when they drink to the point of being out of control, maybe to the point of passing out. The other type drinks a small amount of alcohol from the time they get out of bed until they go to bed at night, almost as if the alcohol was being used almost as if it was an IV drip.


I have had clients of each type over the 11 years that I have been in practice. Many years ago, I had a woman in her 50’s who came in to see me so she could quit her alcoholism. She was very determined to do so and did for a short while after our work together, unfortunately going back to her drinking to let go of her negative thoughts. She was the sort who started with the drinking an ounce of vodka upon awakening having some every hour till she went to bed at 11 PM. Despite this issue, she was a wonderful mother who successfully raised healthy competent kids to her husband’s delight.


A couple of years ago another young woman come in to see me who had anorexia. Her anorexia was under fairly good control, her weight in the normal range as she was eating well. She just had a few food ritual issues to be let go. On top of this problem however, she was finding herself going out to dinner with friends almost nightly, unable to stop drinking till she didn’t know what she was doing any longer. Her inhibitions were compromised along with any good judgment with her drinking leading to her having sex with people that she didn’t know all that well. Unfortunately this sort of concurrent addiction happens quite frequently. This particular client was a full blown alcoholic unable to limit her drinking and having to stop it all together which she successfully did.


I had another client of mine that was abusing the alcohol as she was in the midst of getting a divorce from her husband, he infantilizing her and treating her poorly. She found herself drinking more often than she wanted and in larger quantities than the circumstances warranted and wanted to stop. She was able to do this with a little bit of help, easier than she thought. She only had to make the decision to no longer imbibe.


Over the years the majority of my clients who have come in with substance abuse or addiction have been able to get clean and stop their habits. Of course for this to work, the client has to consciously and unconsciously desire to make the change, for as a hypnotist it is outside the realm of my ability to help anyone who isn’t 110% committed to doing what it takes to stop using the alcohol. In this case, one needs to change the playground as well as the playmates to be certain to be free of the problem forever. We do become like those with whom we spend most of our time, so this needs to be considered very seriously for us to make the needed positive changes.


If you choose to use hypnosis to help you to release alcohol from your life, do be certain that the hypnotist has a proven record of success. Success in this case means that the hypnotist chosen has a track record of specializing in working in the field of addictions in particular with a thorough understanding the illness and the consequences of treatment.


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photo by: S. Reachers



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