How often do you feel stressed? Are you experiencing such symptoms of stress that you require an accessible coping strategy? Do you find such coping through alcohol consumption?
Whether you’re personally experiencing the relationship between the reliance on alcohol and stress, there is currently, and has been for years, a significant correlation between both conditions.
Recognised as a dual diagnosis, both alcoholism and stress carry symptoms that can be life-altering, which can impact health on a substantial level, and which can be extremely difficult to detach from when paired together.
Unfortunately, the relationship between alcohol and stress doesn’t stop there, as we’re aware that alcohol temporarily supports symptoms of stress, alcohol consumption and addiction can in fact induce stress.
The emotional changes that consistent alcohol exposure causes can trigger and increase symptoms of stress, chronically, in fact, subsequently controlling further emotional responses.
If you’re struggling, reach out to see how dual diagnosis treatment, including stress management and addiction treatment services, will benefit you.
Get In Touch
Are you suffering from Cannabis and Stress and need help? If so, Asana Lodge are leading UK based experts in Dual Diagnosis Treatment. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with our friendly team today. You can either call our confidential helpline or request a callback by clicking on the below form.
Causes of alcohol addiction
One of the most commonly noted causes of alcohol abuse falls on excessive stress and pressure. While stress is a normal emotion to experience, where it becomes excessive, continuous and life-altering, it can take over both the body and mind.
Through symptoms of stress, many individuals require a coping strategy. For some, exercise and meditation will work, for others, taking regular breaks away from stressors will suffice. However, in the event of immediate effect, alcohol consumption is one of the most utilised mechanisms, with unknowing consequences.
Leaning on alcohol to combat emotional responses may initially feel positive, as greater relaxation can be expected, as a distorted reality can be expected, as increased levels of happy chemicals are expected.
However, through those positives, combined with the rebound effect of stress, it’s easy to see how addictive alcohol can become, in the attempt to manage stress.
Alcohol addiction can be extremely harmful if enabled and paired with chronic stress, which can turn into a vicious cycle. Alcohol and stress are defined as dual diagnoses, continuing to impact one another, until a break in the cycle is experienced.
Heightened stress as a result of alcoholism
Alcoholism as a primary condition is testing in itself. Whether personal pressures are present, the pressures of others, or the pressures of society, living as and being stereotyped as an alcoholic is tough.
Abusing alcohol is found to deter health, wellbeing, livelihoods, relationships, and reality. Such consequences independently are causations of stress, to a chronic level in the majority of cases.
Paired with further mental health issues, chronic and re-occurring stress can be exhausting, while also found to speed up the addiction cycle.
The presence of alcohol in the body can also induce risks of stress, down to the adaptations caused by such a toxic substance. The body and brain will work to support the presence of alcohol and accept the happy chemicals in which it motivates. Yet, once a degree of withdrawal is encountered, stress, in physical and psychological forms is expected.
Both chronic alcohol and stress problems churn one another, influence one another, and cause the rebound effect, to the point where one will not exist without the other. If you’re abusing alcohol, for any given reason, alcohol addiction treatment services will be worthwhile, in conjunction with stress management, where appropriate.
Signs of chronic stress
Chronic stress is ongoing, is consistent, is present for longer than it isn’t, and is triggered by a multitude of stimuli. Being aware of such signs is very important, helping to identify one part of the dual diagnosis.
Signs of chronic stress to be aware of include:
- The inability to lead a normal, balanced lifestyle
- Anxiety and panic
- Negative behavioural changes
- Weight issues
- The inability to complete usual responsibilities and routines
- High abuse of unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol
Such signs, paired with the inability to stop the consumption of alcohol, cravings, withdrawal symptoms and physical side effects are indicators of alcohol and stress as a dual diagnosis.
The vicious cycle of alcohol and stress
It’s clear to see how vicious the cycle of dual diagnosis is. Both alcohol and stress feed into one another’s weaknesses, targeting those who are vulnerable to mental health issues and addiction.
Dual diagnosis can impact any individual, yet those who are abusing alcohol are at higher risk, and those who lead unmanageable and unsustainable lives where stress is a common response are also at greater risk. This is down to the relationships of alcohol and stress problems, where both are commonly found together.
If you are struggling, while it may feel easier to work through the cycle and continue to consume alcohol as some degree of respite, this will in fact make things harder. Instead, you should look towards alcohol addiction treatment and stress management, to heal your mind and body.
Alcohol addiction treatment
Treating alcohol addiction is possible here at Asana Lodge. By understanding your reason for fixating on alcohol, we can form a psychologically designed treatment programme for you, to work through restorative efforts.
Treatment services that surround your mental health, therapy and accountability will be promoted, to work through the damages of alcoholism. Cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, detoxification and relapse prevention planning are some suitable forms that are recommended.
The aim will be to promote alcohol withdrawal while adapting the use of alcohol as a coping strategy.
Stress can also be treated here, where stress management, dialectical behavioural therapy and wellbeing management will be the greatest recommendations of treatment. To gauge influential stressors will be the aim while finding sustainable coping strategies to manage such stress.
When experienced in unison, both problems with alcohol and stress can be tough, which is why dual diagnosis treatment will be essential. The above recommendations will work alongside one another to treat the cause, to treat primary and secondary symptoms, and to promote relapse prevention strategies.