I have discussed on this website a number of different aggressions and outburst of anger causes and today I will discuss domestic violence and alcohol-induced aggression and this is important for some of us during the Christmas season when there is an abundance of alcohol.
The Christmas season is an annual and universal period of great joy, celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ, the time of reflection, the family feast of Christmas that is preceded by the Christmas office alcohol-fuelled parties. The Christmas alcohol-fuelled parties are unavoidable, they are given, they have always been part of the team building, bonding, part of the office culture and as much as you cannot stand your colleagues, it is impossible to say no to them in highly competitive environment. The peer pressure not to drink is high, as the night goes on people are taking turns in buying rounds and the company’s credit card bill is going high. It is not surprising that many of us wake up suffering from a massive hangover or worse, feeling the excruciating excessive poisoning effects of alcohol. Later, in January throughout London bars look emptier reflecting the recognition and urgency for people to detoxify, purify and start the New Year fresh but this is not the case for all of us.
Some of us will continue drinking and have been drinking for quite a long time now and in larger quantities, we continue having ongoing cravings which are out of control regardless of the season, we feel addicted and those are some of the main criteria for substance dependence (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR, 2000). The ongoing drinking in larger amounts leading to tolerance and loss of the desired effect, which by now has been a long time, also began making noticeable negative changes in the relationships, work performance, recreational activities are neglected and significant decline in the health is evident. It is probably the before mentioned chronic debilitating effects of alcohol or pressure from a family member that brought you to reading this page. We know from over the past 40 years research on the effects of alcohol that besides the seven criteria listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders on substance dependence, there are other serious health issues related to the chronic consumption of alcohol and alcoholism (Sullivan et al., 2010). Sullivan et al. (2010) stated that 33 – 50% of people have detectable cognitive and motor issues, frontal lobe dysfunctions such as reduced motivation, distractibility, and issues with problems solving and memory. The long-term alcohol-related brain damage will depend on someone’s age, gender, history and brain vulnerabilities and in some alcoholics the brain has the capacity to recover (Berman and Marinkovic, 2016). The alcohol can lead to the well-known cirrhosis and heart muscle damage that are health issues more prominent in women (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2004). Among the psychological and cognitive issues that I have discussed above, a research was also done on the relationship between aggression and alcohol.
There has been evidence that found that alcohol can encourage aggression and violence by disturbing normal brain mechanism which means that alcohol will weaken brain function that would normally prevent impulsive behaviors that would include aggressive outbursts (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1997). Another survey found that people will behave aggressively because they are expected to when they consume alcohol. The person’s history needs to be also taken into account when we are looking at the relationship between alcohol, aggression, and outburst of anger. A person that had been sexually abused as a child could start using alcohol as a way to numb unwanted traumatic memories. The subsequent alcohol abuse and the effect it has on disrupting normal brain function and weakening of the brain mechanism that would normally stop impulsive angry behaviors will instead enhance the already existing resentment and anger towards the abuser that will be acted out when the person is under the influence of alcohol. An aggressive relational style that people acquired in childhood will also be enhanced under the influence of alcohol and when people loose brain activity to stop the impulsive behaviors. The alcohol-induced aggression, outburst of anger can lead to Christmas domestic violence, running into trouble with law and people struggling with chronic alcohol consumption and violence will benefit from sessions comprising substance misuse treatment combined with anger management at Anger Therapy London and if you would like to enquire about a possible appointment call Leona Sears on 07 505 124 933.