Stages and Causes of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a real problem in today’s world. A lot of people have been suffering from this problem. You start consuming alcohol and it becomes a habit and addiction which creates a serious problem sometime because alcoholism can cause severe health conditions such as ulcer, cancer, liver failure, etc. So, if you or anyone of your close acquaintance has this problem, you would want to solve it as soon as possible so that the complications do not arise. This article will guide you through the basics that needs to be known about alcoholism.
Stages of alcoholism
There are several stages of alcoholism based on your level of consumption and addiction. They are mentioned below and have been described in brief.
Generally, the early stages of alcoholism does not constitute any significant dysfunction or impairment so these are quite difficult to detect. As the person’s body may be building up the habit and the necessary tolerance for alcohol which may make them quite resistive to the effect of alcohol. You must have a good knowledge of the social aspects to know that a person is in this stage of alcoholism. If you or anyone drinks to deal with their stress or any other problems or if you are recognized as a different person by people of your acquaintance, means you are in the early stage.
In this stage, both social and physical effects of drinking are observed in the affected person. Excessive drinking may cause alcoholic blackouts. People at this stage may have a high craving for alcohol and some might even go through symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. You might have some physical symptoms of withdrawal such as:
- Enlarged pupils
- Clammy, pale skin
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- Severe headaches
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shakiness and tremors
This is a stage where you literally go mad. You totally lose control and now the alcohol starts impacting on your mental, physical and social health. You are no longer well and you are so obsessed with alcohol that you do not care about even the loved ones. You start neglecting your work and you experience alcoholic blackout quite often. Sometimes, sleeplessness and insomnia is also caused due to excessive intake of alcohol.
Though some alcoholics do hold down a job even at this stage, it doesn’t stay for long. You no longer feel obliged to your responsibility and you cannot work because your mind is concentrating totally on drink.
All sorts of health problem will start to arise if the condition persists. Problems like hepatitis, cirrhosis in the liver, infections in respiratory system, etc. are caused due to due to the excessive drinking. And, it can get more fatal, as it may cause in heart failure or brain damage as well.
Am I an alcoholic? (Symptoms of alcoholism)
You may be feeling unwell and may have realized that its cause can be your consumption of alcohol. For this, you need to know how much is too much. The points listed below will give you a good idea about what signs you can expect if you are alcoholic.
- If you start worrying about when you will get to drink and where you might get enough alcohol regardless the place.
- If you find it hard to stop drinking after you have started it.
- If you have an urge or habit of drinking in the morning just after waking up.
- If you feel that some mental health problems like anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings arise due to the over consumption of alcohol.
- If you have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea, and shaking, that stops once you consume alcohol.
Causes of alcoholism
Exact causes of alcoholism is not really known. So, here are some risk factors that might play vital in your alcohol consumption or in the alcoholism condition. They are:
- If you have more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male or more than 12 drinks per week in case you are a female
- If you have a habit of drinking, a lot of drink in a single day with friends or alone.
- If you have a parent with alcoholism or who at once was highly alcoholic
- If you have conditions like mental health problem, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety.
Here are some alcoholism signs that poses a greater risk for alcoholism in you:
- If you are an adult who has to deal with self-experiencing peer pressure
- If you have low self-esteem
- If you have experience on a high level of stress
- If you live in a culture or family where alcohol is commonly used and accepted
- If you have a close relative with alcohol-use disorder
Is alcoholism hereditary?
As you know, addiction is a kind of chronic disease of the brain which affects the reward and motivation centers and it has posed a serious questions to the researchers about if genetic and hereditary components has anything to do with addiction.
And some searches has led to the results that alcohol use disorder or alcoholism or alcohol abuse has some specific genes related. So, if a close relative, like your sibling or your parent, struggles with usage of alcohol, chances are you may also experience the same struggle yourself.