The Angry Drunk: How Alcohol and Aggression Are Linked

There’s also a strong link between serious alcohol use and depression. The question is, does regular drinking lead to depression, or are depressed people more likely to drink too much? Some people say they drink alcohol to „drown their sorrows“ after a bad breakup, job loss, or other major life stress. And yes, because alcohol makes you sleepy, a few beers or glasses of wine can seem to relax you and relieve anxiety.

alcohol depression and anger

Anger is an intense emotion you feel when something has gone wrong or someone has wronged you. Aggression refers to a range of behaviors that can result in both physical and psychological harm to yourself, others, or objects in the environment. This article discusses some of the facts behind the stereotype of the „angry drunk“ and explores the connection between anger and alcohol. They can also help you take steps toward identifying other depression symptoms and finding the most helpful treatment. The best approach to treatment for you can depend on your symptoms and how they affect your life.

What causes depression and alcohol use disorder?

However, for the best results, your doctor will likely treat them together. Generally speaking, depression-causing recklessness is hard to overcome, so it necessitates a comprehensive treatment plan. Consequently, the literature briefly summarized should offer a roadmap to what elements in counseling will prove most therapeutic. It’s as though they have to engage in behavior so intense that—at least in the moment—it dulls the acuity of their so-burdensome emotional ache. And in that context, it’s a release—virtually, a „gift,“ despite increasing the chances of accidentally dying. More specifically, alcohol binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and increases the amount of GABA in the central nervous system.

  • “Therapeutic interventions designed to address both issues often include a focus on addressing emotional pain or trauma, as well as developing and practicing healthy coping behaviors,” says Dr. Kennedy.
  • In a phrase, anger and alcohol abuse can feed off of each other if they both go unchecked.
  • Identifying those factors that might contribute to heightened anger when consuming alcohol is important for individuals who have anger issues and those who treat them.
  • If you’re at low risk of addiction to alcohol, it may be OK to have an occasional drink, depending on your particular situation, but talk with your doctor.
  • Even if they don’t improve immediately, you’ll probably have an easier time doing something about them when you don’t have to deal with physical symptoms, too.

Reach out to a mental health professional to talk about treatment and strategies for dealing with depression. Some people never notice feelings of depression — or any negative effects at all — after drinking moderately. Others might begin feeling depressed or anxious after just one drink.

Contact Gateway Foundation Today to Learn More About Alcoholism and Anger

According to Dr. Kennedy, for those taking antidepressants, combining them with alcohol can reduce their efficacy. Taking action to manage negative emotions as you alcohol depression and anger experience them can help keep them from getting too overwhelming. Having an extra drink or two once in a while doesn’t automatically translate to heavy drinking.

  • The production of glutamate increases while the amount of GABA decreases and the brain begins to reset itself.
  • There are lots of choices when it comes to medication that treats depression, and there are drugs that lower alcohol cravings and counter the desire to drink heavily.
  • This allowed us to model clients as random factors and to nest repeated measures within each client.
  • If this form of anger goes unaddressed, it can be detrimental to your mental health and your relationships.