Why Does Drinking Release the Rage? Understand Alcohol-Related Anger and Aggression

But healthcare providers can help relieve your symptoms with immediate treatment. With treatment, Wernicke encephalopathy might not progress to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important.

alcoholic rage syndrome

In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. You might want to participate in treatment with your loved one whenever possible, but it’s also wise to talk to a therapist on your own. This is especially the case if specific behaviors or mood symptoms affect your day-to-day life. Talking to loved ones about what you’re experiencing and sharing as much as you feel comfortable with can help them understand your distress.

The Eye-Opening Science Behind Alcoholic Rage

Alcohol, like fatigue, diminished sleep, stress, and certain drugs, inhibits the activation of the prefrontal cortex, that part of our brain responsible for problem-solving, judgment, and overseeing and managing emotions. This disinhibiting aspect of alcohol in effect paves the way for feelings to dominate thoughts and behavior. The best decision you can make is often the most difficult because it may involve putting your life, your family and your career on hold. But entering treatment is the best way to show the people you’ve harmed with your anger that you’ve made a commitment to change. The ultimate goal is to help them get into a treatment program that addresses their substance abuse and the way it causes them to behave. But this is often easier said than done, and mean drunks can turn violent when provoked — meaning that if you share a living space with one, your safety should be your main priority.

alcoholic rage syndrome

When talking to or about someone in recovery, avoid using this term. Research has shown that thought suppression may contribute to alcohol-related aggression. One study supporting this finding enlisted 245 men with a history of heavy episodic alcohol use (Berke et al., 2020). They completed surveys assessing their endorsement of traditional masculine norms, use of thought suppression, and both trait and alcohol-related aggression. It was found that thought suppression mediated the association between the toughness masculine norm and alcohol-related aggression.

What It Looks and Feels Like

Anyone who’s lived with an alcoholic parent, partner or other close family member understands all too well what happens when their loved one’s personality changes suddenly as soon as they have a drink or two. Suddenly, the person they know and care for is a much different, angrier person — short-tempered, abusive and often violent. If you recognize your own behavior in the description of intermittent explosive disorder, talk with your doctor about treatment options or ask for a referral to a mental health professional. These are clinically studied therapies that resulted in statistically significant results.

This disorder also involves having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. Alcohol use disorder includes a level of drinking that’s sometimes called alcoholism. The first step in dealing with dry drunk syndrome is the same as it was for quitting alcohol.

The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger

They would need to complete rehab and therapy, even amend legal problems, before being allowed to see them again. As strange as it seems, not all alcoholics are prone to this anger. Some are quite docile, drinking alone until they pass out, meaning no harm to anyone.

vitamins for recovering alcoholics

Having both conditions increases the risk of mood swings, depression, violence and suicide. Researchers have studied the connection between anger and aggression for years. However, it’s about more than getting easily upset or having a short fuse when you drink alcohol.

Genetics, alcohol, and rage

A big part of recovery and your new sober life is making your physical health a priority. Try healthful recipes, join a gym, take up a sport, try yoga (which can have mental benefits as well as physical ones). If you love dogs and don’t have one, this is a great time to adopt a stray or volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter. Dry drunk syndrome is part https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/the-connection-between-alcoholism-and-anger/ of the phenomenon known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). When a heavy drinker quits drinking, his brain must adjust to the chemical damage that alcohol has caused. Learning the symptoms of dry drunk syndrome as well as a few strategies to better cope can help you or someone you love to move past this stumbling block toward lasting recovery.

  • A lack of impulse control can make a person unable to resist the sudden, forceful urge to fly into a rage or act aggressively.
  • Anger management and conflict resolution are other coping tools that are often taught in rehab.
  • All of this can be frustrating if you have a loved one in recovery.
  • Wernicke encephalopathy develops most often in people with alcohol use disorder.
  • When these symptoms become long term, they cause lasting brain and nerve cell damage.
  • By contrast, some individuals’ alcohol consumption contributes to their anger, hostility, and even aggression.
  • If one approach doesn’t feel right, take a step back and consider a different one.

In other words, someone who’s sober might still “act drunk” or deal with the same issues that led them to quit drinking in the first place. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. If one of our articles is marked with a ‘reviewed for accuracy and expertise’ badge, it indicates that one or more members of our team of doctors and clinicians have reviewed the article further to ensure accuracy. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. To curb alcohol-fueled rage, it helps to know how you respond to drinking. And you may need to take steps to stop or limit alcohol consumption.

An alcohol-induced blackout can happen when the individual consumes too much alcohol too quickly. This interferes with the brain’s ability to form memory connections. The more alcohol that is consumed, the higher the level of memory loss will be. Some may lose a block of minutes or hours, or even days, depending on the amount of alcohol that was consumed. English author George Eliot provides a case involving delirium tremens in her novel Middlemarch (1871–72).

One of the topics usually revolves around emotion regulation and anger management. An individual who, when in his or her alcohol addiction, was prone to angry outbursts or rages may have had existing anger management issues or an explosive personality. In recovery, it is important to address that propensity towards violence and learn effective coping skills that help change the tendency toward anger. Anger management issues may be rooted in a specific mental health disorder in some cases.

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