A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows that 86.4 percent of those age 18 and older claim to have used alcohol. This means that a significant majority of the U.S. population has consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. Depending on the amount, alcohol abuse can cause hazardous mood swings that can have serious effects on the drinker as well as family members or others.
Drinking is a popular social activity and may occur at various venues. Office parties, social clubs, festivals, concerts often attract alcohol consumers. While many people drink responsibly and either restrict their intake to stay with friends that help to monitor their behavior, others drink considerably while alone or with others, which can lead to out of control behavior.
Everyone Reacts Differently to the Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol affects people differently. No two drinkers who have consumed the same amount of alcohol will react the same way. Research reports that women tend to feel its effects more keenly than men, in general, and Native Americans may likewise be impacted more severely than other races. Further studies are exploring the effect of alcohol on other groups, as well.
You may encounter an alcohol abuser or an alcoholic in your home or in your neighborhood. It could be someone you work with or a person you meet at a party. Sometimes you know what to expect if you are familiar with a person’s behavior while he or she is under the influence. At other times the behavior of an unknown individual who is consuming alcohol cannot be predicted.
Alcohol use experts believe that having more than a few alcoholic drinks can cause many individuals to experience a range of emotions. At first, they often become carefree and joyful, eager to have a good time and put responsibility aside. This can lead to skipping work or avoiding family obligations. Many people do not like to be around those whose emotions are artificially inflated due to alcohol and can cause tension or conflict, and sometimes disrupts relationships. Merely observing a family member under the influence of alcohol with somewhat impaired judgment can make those who live in the home feel uneasy or anxious as they become concerned about the drinker’s emotional instability.
Dramatic Mood Swings and Emotions
The next stage that frequently occurs when people continue to drink more alcohol is anger or sometimes rage. Some become eager to pick fights or blame others for their problems. Verbal or physical abuse may occur; in fact, alcohol and drug use are associated with high rates of domestic violence. At home or attending parties or events where drinking plays a significant role means that many people who are under the influence will meet others in a similar state, which can quickly flare into resentment, arguments, and assaults, as often seen in bar fights.
A sorrowful attitude or becoming morose may be the third dramatic emotional shift or heavy or habitual alcohol users. Self-pity is the overriding emotion that debilitates drinkers at this stage of inebriation. Guilt, shame, and embarrassment are common emotions experienced. Some drinkers hide from loved ones by locking themselves in the bedroom or taking off to drive somewhere to avoid scrutiny, criticism, and judgment. Someone under the influence can break into tears for seemingly no reason.
Taking It to the Limit
The fourth common effect of progressive alcohol abuse is what is known as passing out. The drinker may become unconscious and somewhat unresponsive, having to “sleep off” the effects of alcohol, as their bodies have reached a saturation point where they cannot sustain additional alcohol intake. During this stage, no emotions are expressed by the drinker due to the unconscious state. But friends and relatives are often concerned over the person’s non-responsiveness.
Each of these emotional effects of alcohol can vary in duration and intensity but are conditioned by the response of body and mind to alcohol in a person’s system. Some drinkers have developed strong self-control reflexes, while others melt down into a series of emotions after a couple of drinks. Being around an alcohol abuser will provide insight to what may be expected during each drinking bout.
Finding Help for Alcohol Abuse
The dangerous effects of alcohol on the body stem from each person’s individualized response as well as the intense mood swings that can occur spontaneously. With logic and responsibility ebbing the more they drink, these people are capable of unplanned acts of violence, such as the above-mentioned domestic violence, including date rape as a perpetrator or victim. Heavy drinking is sometimes but not always associated with an assault that can cause serious physical harm or even kill someone. It can lead to jail time, losing a job, and destroying a family. People who kill themselves are often but not always under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Anyone who drinks regularly or heavily is vulnerable to possible mood swings. They should be encouraged to seek professional help in controlling their drinking and their emotional responses to alcohol. All drinkers will not experience bad mood swings, but those that do need help. Contact us today if you or a loved one need help for alcohol abuse or addiction.