Alcohol is just one of those things that have the capacity to become a part of our lives in such a way that we hardly ever notice our dependence on it until it has become too late. What begins as social drinking or ‘just a nightcap’ has the potential to turn into something much worse. Dependence on alcohol can have negative effects on a large number of things, like work, money, and even personal relationships. Friends and family often have to bear the brunt of dealing with an individual’s drinking problem.
As a person becomes more and more addicted (or dependent on) alcohol, it begins to affect their general awareness of things and people around them. Psychiatrists confirm that while the frequent use of alcohol and drugs to ‘feel better’ does manage to filters out negative experiences, but is also responsible for robbing us of needed perceptions. This is the first step in jeopardising relationships with people. When one can no longer see and recognise the needs of people around them, it becomes harder to relate to their problems and their everyday needs and wants. Over time, this can cause the relationship to become irreparably broken. Trying to repair the relationship is much harder in the throes of an alcohol addiction because alcohol tends to numb our responses and makes it more difficult to cope with challenges.
It is not just the ‘losing touch’ aspect of alcohol addiction that has the capacity to wreck relationships with family and friends. Alcohol has been known to leave several unwanted psychological symptoms even after it has left the drinker’s system. Psychiatrists say that even after the alcohol has left the system, heavy drinkers suffer from defensiveness, aggression, irrational thinking, mood problems, and a worsening of mental illnesses. It has also been proven to promote interpersonal problems that include failures of integrity, family and relationship difficulties, and career problems. It becomes a vicious cycle and the things that the alcohol high helps us escape are worsened by the alcohol itself. And in an attempt to alleviate the problems caused by the alcohol, the drinker tends to drink more, making the problems worse.
The responsible thing to do in such cases is to accept the problem and seek help before we end up sacrificing our loved ones over a bottle of alcohol.
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