- Defining alcohol use disorder
- The effects of alcohol misuse
- What happens in our brains when we drink
- How can hypnotherapy help you overcome alcohol addiction
What is alcohol use disorder?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines Alcohol use disorder (AUD) as:
‘A medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It encompasses the conditions that some people refer to as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction and the colloquial term alcoholism. Considered a brain disorder, AUD can be mild, moderate or severe.’
How alcohol misuse can affect your life
If you find that your craving for alcohol or drinking habits; such as binge drinking, are affecting your everyday life; this can create a raft of problems.
It may impact on your relationships. You may experience frustration if your access to alcohol is thwarted and take it out on those around you.
You may crave alcohol to the extenct that it is preventing you from meeting your work commitments and/or obligations in your personal life. This could lead to further problems in relationships and affect income and financial security; also compounded by the cost of drinking.
Getting trapped in a vicious cycle
Alternatively; you may find yourself becoming isolated from friends if social activities interfere with your drinking routines. Social activities can narrow; where you may prefer the company of other drinkers.
This pattern of socialising could encourage you to drink more and hinder efforts to stop the habit. If you are a heavy drinker; reducing or stopping drinking can bring on withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, nausea and sleep problems. The temptation may then be to revert back to the habit for the temporary relief this can bring.
Patterns of negative thinking
Denial of alcoholism can lead to secretive drinking. Often this is accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. In turn, these uncomfortable feelings can make us feel worse and lead to a pattern of negative thinking that results in self-sabotage. Thus making destructive behaviours more difficult to stop. It can be very easy to get caught up in a negative loop.
The physical effects of excessive drinking
The NHS lists physical side-effects of alcoholism:
‘Organs known to be damaged by long-term alcohol misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas. Heavy drinking can also increase your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.’
Evidence shows that alcohol decreases activity in the pre-frontal cortex. This is the region of the brain that controls decision making and rational thought. Alcohol can also decrease activity in the cerebellum, which is necessary for co-ordinating our motor skills. As a consequence; we may find it hard to walk in a straight line or operate machinery. This can lead to putting ourselves at risk of physical harm.
How can hypnotherapy help?
As a solution focused hypnotherapist; I look at what happens in our brains when we become addicted to unhelpful behaviours such as drinking. I often make reference to the pre-frontal cortex region of our brain and how promoting activity in this area can help us overcome addictions and feel more in control.
The benefits of reducing stress
Hypnotherapy can help us reduce our stress levels and focus on more positive ways of thinking. This can help us to better manage the complex feelings that are often linked to alcohol misuse. When in recovery from alcoholism; by building our confidence and self-esteem; hypnotherapy can help us feel more in control of our responses and have belief in our ability to stop or regulate drinking.
A solution focused approach
By taking a solution focused approach; you are encouraged to gain awareness about your behaviours and, most importantly, use the power of your mind to explore the steps you need to take to achieve your desired outcome; whether it is to completely quit drinking or drink in a controlled way.
A little bit about me
Emma Victoria Tranmer MA (Hons) PGCE HPD DSFH Member of the AfSFH Clinical Solution Hypnotherapist
I specialise in helping people overcome anxiety and stress related issues. Hypnotherapy transformed my life for the better and I subsequently enjoy helping others do the same. Working as a hypnotherapist is therefore incredibly rewarding.
My love of learning means I am always looking at ways to further my own professional development. Hypnotherapy can help with a wide range of issues and I see clients with varied challenges like sports performance, addictions, phobias, disturbed sleep, panic attacks and depression.
Book an Appointment
You can take positive steps to help you attain a more hopeful perspective. In addition, hypnotherapy can help you discover the tools and inner resources to do this; step by step.
I offer an initial consultation where you can meet me and find out more about what I do. This will also give me the opportunity to understand where you are in your life right now and what you would like to achieve. There is no charge for this.
There may be something else that you, or someone you might know, is struggling with right now. Give me a call on 07550 098029 to discuss in strictest confidence.
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