Alcohol abuse is a form of self-medication
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Beverley Chambers Qualified Counsellor, Relationship Issues - Reg. MBACP
15th August, 20150 Comments
Alcohol can be an enjoyable over a meal, with friends, as a night cap and in moderation during social events such as weddings, etc.
However, that is not always the case when alcohol becomes an addiction, because in most cases it is used to mask underlining issues such as lack of confidence. Therefore you can begin to believe that it is the alcohol that gives you confidence and without it no one would want to be around you as you are known as "the life of the party".
Coping with trauma which could occur at any stage in your life, such as the impact of bullying as a child or as an adult at work, a violent crime, divorce or a miscarriage to name a few. These are very distressing experiences and to avoid your feelings and thoughts regarding the issues, alcohol is an easily accessible legal substance that you find numbs those experiences. Then after the first few times it becomes your way of total escapism and you self-medicate with alcohol.
The long-term problem this brings besides possible health risks is that you never deal with the issue and you never move-on and heal from it. Hence when you try to stop drinking the experience is as fresh as the day you started self-medicating with alcohol and all the feelings thoughts have not lessened or changed.
Counselling is a beneficial way of addressing such issues. If you are struggling seek help through counselling or your GP and get the support you need, try not to use alcohol or drugs as they will become an additional problem and you still will have to address your issues so you can no longer self medicate.
About the author
I have worked for 18 years as a counsellor addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual abuse, relationship issues, addiction to alcohol, therapy groups, family issues. My qualifications are; Diploma in Counselling and Group Work, DipSW, Alcohol Counsellor, Life Coach, Certificate Family Support Therapy, NADA Auricular Acupuncture.
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