Certainly each of us in one way or another faced with the problem of alcoholism and will not argue with the fact that his face was awful. The horror is that this plague affects not only the addict, but also his family, friends and even colleagues. That is why you need the best possible way to know what alcoholism, symptoms and stages of its course, the causes - anything that will help you in time to recognize and prevent this phenomenon.
What is alcoholism?
You've heard different points of view on this issue: alcoholism as an incurable disease, alcoholism as a lot of weak, alcoholism as a lifestyle, etc. ... So what is alcoholism? At present, medicine and psychology to assume that it is still a disease. Its essence - to the pathological craving for alcohol in all its forms, accompanied by physical and psychological dependence. An alcoholic can not overcome these cravings, no reasonable arguments do not act on it (at least, in reality, not in words).
Alcoholism develops as a result of a long and fairly regular use of alcohol. He carries devastating consequences for the human body, career, family and other important areas of his life. That alcohol is the most common reason for family quarrels, bad psychological climate in the family and its collapse in the future.
There is no need for a long time and talk in detail about how alcohol negatively affects the human body. Heavy drinking harms practically all departments of the human organism. Alcohol can cause problems with heart, stomach, with blood vessels and circulatory system, low immunity, but most of the damage it causes liver, kidney, pancreas and, of course, of the nervous system. Largely due to the destruction of the individual alcoholic deterioration of the brain, but it's not the only reason. This also contributes to the fact that the life of a man completely lost any sense other than drinking. The alcoholic works to drink, he gets spit on everything else, and soon it will not work at all.
Alcoholism has a disastrous effect on children growing up in families with alcoholic parents - they do not get the right amount of support, love, care, in the end, they do not form the normal idea of what a family is and what should be the husband and wife ( For example, many women stay with their husbands-alcoholics because of the fact that "children need a father," but the result of this are often problems with alcohol have problems with the sons and daughters of alcoholics among women).
All these words are nothing new, but when faced with the problem of alcoholism and again, more and more convinced of their correctness. This is the insidiousness of alcoholism - creeping imperceptibly, he brings grief and horror of everything that comes in contact. It is very regrettable that this problem is so widespread that it somehow touches almost every woman.
Many of our readers are interested in how arises and develops alcoholism. This certainly raises the question of the border between the simple use of alcohol and dependence on him. In reality, of a clear separation of the alcoholic from drinking there, because someone is capable of every night to drink a bottle of vodka, and not be an alcoholic, and someone a couple of bottles of beer and bring serious problems.
Psychologists believe that alcoholism begins when drinking becomes a hindrance for a full life. Man ceases to tackle workloads, reduced productivity of his thought and action, and sometimes he skips all the work. It is less and less deals with abstainers friends, because it is no longer interested in any other topics besides drinking. His interests anyway closes around alcohol and related topics. Family and friends can not ignore this development, and on this soil occur scandals, quarrels, misunderstanding, deception and other unpleasant things.
Stages of development of alcoholism
Alcoholism does not occur instantaneously, but develops slowly, and this is the main problem: since the symptoms of alcoholism is increasing gradually, the changes are not so obvious to people around the alcoholic, and even more so to himself. Causes of everything negative that happens in the life of an alcoholic, sought not so much in drinking as in the fatigue setting in the community or family problems (no one is aware that these problems are increasing with the number of drunk alcohol).
There are certain stages of alcoholism, which it passes in its development. They are characterized by a gradual increase in alcohol dependence, lower self-control in relation to drinking, as well as the growing development of all sorts of bodily diseases, which are always accompanied by chronic alcoholism.
There are people who do not drink at all. They did not threaten alcoholism, but these people just a tiny amount (alcoholics in remission, unfortunately, can not be attributed to them). There is the concept of so-called "zero" stage of alcoholism or preliminary stages - a "habitual drunkenness." He was exposed to people who drink alcohol, but in moderation, as a rule, with friends or on holidays. They rarely get drunk to unconsciousness or any other serious consequences. At this stage, a person really can cease at any time to drink, and for any period. He, of course, it will bring some inconvenience and unpleasant emotions, but, by and large, for it does not matter whether or not the booze in the short-term perspective. Alcohol drunk in the company, requires virtually no continuation of drinking alone.
Unfortunately, this "zero" stage with regular and frequent use of alcohol is likely to lead to the beginning of the formation of alcohol dependence during the year. Typically, as a risk factor in this case is the psychological addiction to alcohol and its effects. And then comes the first stage of alcoholism.
As you know, first one simply drinks. The alarm bell starts ringing at a time when there is the use of large amounts of alcohol at varying intervals. As a rule, it is connected with feasts and celebrations, after which the alcoholic continues to "buzz" for a few days. In the spaces marked craving for alcohol in general is absent, and people quietly go about their mundane chores. But gradually, the body gets used to such doses of alcohol, and the usual fun of it becomes a little. Before that people fond of light alcoholic beverages, now goes to the strong. Gradually formed a craving for alcohol, which manifests itself in the fact that man is not just a support company and tradition, but he is looking for an excuse to drink.
Later drunkenness is becoming more and more systematic. Such a drunkard is almost unable to keep from drinking alcohol at every opportunity. He loses control over the amount of alcohol consumed alcoholic drinks: drinking once he feels a strong need to continue to drink up to a state of deep intoxication. Disappears protective gag reflex (even if a person drank very, very much), which indicates the resistance to alcohol. Begin memory lapses associated with the state of intoxication: waking up in the morning, a person can not remember how he came home and had a row with his wife.
Gradually developing alcoholism, craving for alcohol has become increasingly abnormal and irresistible character. Drink becomes the main meaning and purpose in life. For her sake, he sweeps away all obstacles in its path, whether it is the scandals in the family or a banal lack of money. Since then begins a gradual destruction of the individual - an alcoholic nature of much worse: he becomes a liar, irritable, tactless, rude, aggressive and picky. Also highlights other negative character traits - resentment, self-centeredness, bragging.
The main sign of the beginning of the second stage of alcoholism is considered to be the occurrence of withdrawal syndrome, or "hangover". It starts to haunt a victim of alcohol dependence in different terms: someone comes to the second stage for ten years, and someone and three small. And no, this is not the hangover, which we all know, once in your life to try alcohol! For an alcoholic, it is much more severe and is somewhat similar to heroin addicts from breaking. First, it is manifested notorious headache, hand tremors and weakness throughout the body and is accompanied by an aversion to alcohol. But subsequently the person has a need for a small portion of mitigating a hangover alcohol.
If an alcoholic indulges this, its withdrawal syndrome is exacerbated - there are sleep disorders and mental disorders. Some people experience these unpleasant sensations during the week. Unfortunately, the withdrawal syndrome - a signal of the beginning of irreversible changes in the human body. Having arisen once, he did not leave alcoholic throughout his life, even if he will long to abstain from alcoholic beverages.
Another manifestation of the second stage of alcoholism - is the emergence of sober strong uncontrollable need for alcohol, which usually leads to binges. First, they have a very small extent - two, maybe three days, arise only after the use of a sufficiently large number of alcohol and can be stopped at the request of the alcoholic. Unfortunately, over time, craving for alcohol becomes irresistible, and binges can last for two to three weeks. If the alcoholic run out of money, he starts drinking the cheapest alcohol and its surrogates. A person can abstain from alcohol, but should at least get a drop of alcohol in his mouth, then down the drain - the alcoholic empties into a new binge.
In between, he more and more plagued by all sorts of fears, anxiety, apathy and depression, can occur even mild hallucinations, worsening of thinking, attention and memory. The destruction of the personality continues: if earlier the man behaved like a "pig" in a state of intoxication, but now it goes in the usual sober life. He became ruthless to close people, more and more showing off all sorts of nonsense, it is passive and tiring in all but begging for money on alcohol.
The second stage in the majority lasted less than a decade, but in rare cases delayed to fifteen. When it comes third, "initial" stage of alcoholism - it usually happens in ten or twenty years of drunkenness. The main symptom - a sharp decline in the body's resistance to alcohol: if earlier a person can drink a lot of alcohol, but now he only needs two hundred grams. The alcoholic drinks alcohol constantly, but in small doses several times a day. He almost never sober, and this is his constant craving for alcohol.
Binges are cyclical. At first the small portions alcoholic drinks a lot of alcohol (up to one liter), and then growing aversion to alcohol, which causes spontaneous ending binge. Out of it accompanied by a variety of ailments and pain. After some time, the unbearable need for alcohol is returned, and the first sip leads to zapoyu.
In alcoholics at this stage there are signs of deep degradation they completely lose any interest in life, the craving for spiritual development, ability to learn and work. Drunkenness fully control them. This alcoholics do not want to really get rid of his slavery (sometimes they say such a desire, but it is not true), their whole life is reduced to finding and soliciting funds for a drink.
The symptoms of the onset of alcohol dependence
So, you read a detailed description of how the man gradually sinks into the abyss of alcoholism. Of course, each stage of the development of alcoholism has its own set of symptoms, but there are also common, which will help you to see the approaching danger in the current situation. So, we can talk about alcoholism if his psychological symptoms observed:
- A strong need, or craving for alcohol, which, as a rule, is uncontrollable and irresistible character.
- Loss of the ability to control the use of alcohol, ie, a person can not affect the start, end and dosage of alcohol consumed.
- Reducing the amount of alcohol alternative goals, interests and meanings in life. More and more takes place drinking, and everything connected with it: appetizer, drinking companions, search tools, and the obstacles to alcoholism.
- Increases damage that alcohol causes to various spheres of human life. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite health problems in the psyche, at work and in relationships with others.
- Denial of having problems with alcohol. In humans, decreased critical perception of reality: it seems to him that he is doing well, he drank a little, and if the dose exceeds, it is not terrible - it should recover, it will be able to "move mountains".
- Changes in the emotional sphere. A person becomes grouchy and irritable, his frequent bouts of apathy, and bad mood (especially sober), tension and psychological discomfort.
- Fatigue and decreased performance. The man is less and less work, and even the ability to learn and solve problems better mental silent.
- A lot of time is spent talking and thinking about alcohol: how to get it, consumed with whom, etc. ... Habits positive: it plays an important role in human life.
- Negative changes in the personality and character of alcoholic: lying, aggression, rudeness, boastfulness, ingratiating behavior, restlessness and other unpleasant phenomena.
- Distorted sense of humor alcoholic (and in fact is one of the main indicators of mental and moral development of the person). His jokes are rude, silly, flat and tasteless.
- The alcoholic stops to look after themselves and to care about the impression he makes on others. He becomes sloppy and messy, unpleasant smell of it, it looks bad, and often behaves without the generally accepted norms of behavior.
In order to be able to talk about drinking, not necessarily all of the symptoms must be present. However, if you are faced with most of them, with a fairly high probability it can be argued that this is - alcoholism. The complexity of the perception is the fact that alcoholics are actually changing in many ways. Someone becomes more rough, but someone - a soft, despite the fact that it is the opposite. The presence of such opposites drug treatment led me to the idea of the different types of personal destruction alcoholic.
It describes four options for personal degradation: apathetic, explosive, hysterical and asthenic syndrome. Apathetic expressed in passivity alcoholic, lack of interest, depressed mood and background unwillingness to do anything about something to think about besides drinking. Such people tend to maloemotsionalny and inexpressive. The explosive type with nothing to confuse: it is loud, rude and impulsive man who easily irritated and in a fit of anger his quite able to bring moral and physical harm to another person.
Hysterical variant differs cunning, resourcefulness and falsehood: it is easy to navret you with three boxes - just to get your penny for a bottle of vodka. Sometimes he even forgets himself that it is a lie. And last, asthenic type is manifested in fatigue, decreased performance, inability to focus and thinking on something for a long time. At the forefront mental and psychiatric disorders.
The causes of alcohol dependence
Many women are plagued sacramental issues - what are the causes of alcoholism? Why it strikes some people, while others are completely resistant to it? Unfortunately, a clear answer to them does not exist, and articles in newspapers such as "British scientists have discovered a gene responsible for alcoholism," a knowledgeable person can cause a sad smile: a gene that may have opened, but as he and other factors affect - absolutely incomprehensible.
Currently, psychologists describe the following causes of alcoholism, dividing them into groups: external, family, personal, and emotional factors.