Impulsivity and rage with alcohol may also be a result of genetics. Some people have a genetic variation of the serotonin 2B receptor gene HTR2B. Alcohol’s ability to temporarily reduce anxiety can also intensify the urge to act on impulse. If you’re less worried about what others will think, or of any consequences, you could be more likely to have a strong reaction when something upsets you (2). John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In some cases, you can’t change an angry drunk, and you need to make the decision that’s right for you and other members of the household, especially children. Many people with “angry drunk” tendencies also end up on the wrong side of law. The lack of inhibitions that causes them to lose their temper can lead to bar fights, road rage, impulsive violence (even against friends and loved ones) and other events that may cost them a night in jail or worse. Alcohol effects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the region that moderates things like decision-making. What this means is that people whose personalities make them naturally quicker to become angry than others are even more likely to lose control under the influence of alcohol. For that reason, abstaining from alcohol altogether may be the best way to prevent undesirable effects, such as relationship issues or legal trouble.
Anger and Alcohol Risk Factors
Massage therapy can help to relieve physical tension and therefore promote mental clarity. Expressive therapies provide healthy, and often nonverbal, outlets for the expression of negative and difficult emotions. Finally, support groups provide encouragement and hope for recovery. The journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology reports on studies showing that alcohol can increase aggression in both men and women, but more so in men. Alcohol impairs a person’s executive functioning, making it harder for them to think clearly and make rational decisions. Impulse control is affected, and individuals under the influence of alcohol may have a shorter fuse than they otherwise would.
Many people whose behavior changes drastically with drinking have a hard time believing it when they’re sober. But the best choice for you and the people around you is to enter treatment and work to become a better person. Essentially, drinking makes us less likely to withhold our reactions when we’re angry or annoyed.
Angry Drunk Psychology: Why Does Alcohol Make Some People Abusive?
Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist/author specializing in addictions, codependency, and underlying issues such as depression, trauma, and anxiety. Take up gardening, start collecting an item you’re truly interested in or fascinated by, learn how to build things and focus on the creative project. The goal is to fill the time you once spent drinking with activities that are enjoyable and engrossing.
In severe cases, people may experience loss of consciousness (coma). If you or a loved one has lost consciousness or has symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. You’re likely to start by seeing your primary health care provider. If your provider suspects that you have a problem with alcohol, you may be referred to a mental health provider. When someone battles AUD, they are also less likely to consistently take care of regular obligations, which can impact interpersonal relationships and their home environment.
On the flip side, alcohol dependence commonly leads to significant withdrawal symptoms that are often side effects of alcohol addiction. Emotional withdrawal symptoms can include agitation, anxiety, depression, irritability, and tension as well as sleep disturbances, insomnia, and physical discomfort. Alcohol withdrawal can be potentially life-threatening, in the case of severe dependence. Medical detox is typically considered the optimal method for allowing alcohol to safely process out of the body while under continual medical supervision. When people have difficulty controlling impulses, trouble regulating their emotions, or may present a danger to themselves and/or others, medical detox is required. Medical detox programs are often the first stage in a comprehensive addiction treatment program.
- Some people have a genetic variation of the serotonin 2B receptor gene HTR2B.
- Within AA, for example, it’s sometimes used to refer to people who aren’t “working the program” or trying hard enough.
- Once the individual has become stable they will be ready to engage in therapy.
- Intimate partner violence is of great concern when it comes to alcohol and anger.
- Take up gardening, start collecting an item you’re truly interested in or fascinated by, learn how to build things and focus on the creative project.
But in real life, a person who loses control of their emotions when they drink is anything but entertaining. People spend years in therapy and in treatment for issues of their own that are caused by the consequences of this behavior. “Keep in mind that any amount of drinking can influence emotions and behavior,” O’Brien says. Alcohol can fuel rage or aggressive behaviors even when a person isn’t intoxicated.
They were also required to respond to the Consideration of Future Consequence Scale (CFC). It was found that those scoring lower became significantly more aggressive than those who had higher ratings on the CFC. The findings were explained by emphasizing that concern for the future involves greater prefrontal cortex resources that help inhibit the excessive impact of alcohol. Many people who have an alternate personality when they drink look back on it clarity when they sober up.
The most common cause of thiamine deficiency is chronic alcohol use. Alcohol makes it harder for your body to absorb thiamine and store it in your liver. It can also make it difficult for your body to use vitamin B1 for other essential functions. When you have too little thiamine, your brain doesn’t have enough energy to work properly.
Still, there are things you can do to manage these symptoms and minimize their impact on your life. Some folks assume that people showing signs of this syndrome are about to relapse and drink again, but this isn’t always the case. Expressing your https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/the-connection-between-alcoholism-and-anger/ emotions might seem tough or impossible, which can lead to further frustration. Jennifer Chesak is a freelance medical journalist, editor, and fact-checker with more than two decades of experience and bylines in several national publications.