Healways drank. Sometimes he stayed for long and sometimes I would not see himfor long periods of time. Sometimes he was affectionate and sometimes he wasaggressive.
Sometimes he was supportive and sometimes he was irrelevant. But Iknow I will never forget my childhood and how much it took a toll on ourfamily. My father is an alcoholic.
To say,growing up was stress and worry free is an understatement. As a child, you donot fully understand why certain situations are occurring because your parentstry to hide or cover up the truth. But once something becomes clear enough, youare able to connect the dots and recognize why it all occurred. My mom neverallowed my father to drink inside our home, and for the longest time I believedboth of my parents did not drink. Until one night when he did not come home, wewent searching for him; later to find him belligerently intoxicated. We tookhim home that night and woke up the next day, went to church and pretended asif nothing had happened. I will never forget this night, because it was onlythe beginning. I did not ask questions, because I knew my mom was suffering andtrying to hold our family together.
I was afraid to speak and could not expresswhat I was feeling inside. Nevertheless, it was hurtful. When things got out ofcontrol and I found it hard to be home, and feared the brokenness.
But then,one day my fear turned into defensiveness and anger. Both of which I am stillworking on today. Whereas, my brother became depressed. We kept everythinginside and didn’t share too much information to others. Most people still donot know our families dynamic, but we all believe it is definitely for thebest. Eventually, my brother became an alcoholic when he reached adulthood,just like my dad.
I was not around for this time period, because I moved out ofour home. But I know it was a stressful time for our family. Thankfully today,they have both made the decision to change their lives and are recovering. SubstanceAbuse Disorders come with several risks and can be problematic. They cause substantialdamage to one’s life when misused. Alcohol abuse is a nationwide issue that isconstantly being misused.
For some, alcohol consumption is a way of relaxation.For others, however, alcohol is a dependency. Alcohol dependence occurs oncemen are having more than two drinks a day, and women are having more than onedrink a day. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking; therefore, drinkingexcessively on a single occasion or over time, are the beginning signs.
Ultimately, affecting ones health, relationships, and the ability to work. Oncethese issues arise, there physical, mental and emotional likelihood foreveryone involved. When alcohol becomes a regularly present component in aperson’s life, it can impact alcoholism and cause a great amount of damage tothe individual, as well family and friends. (American Psychological Association, 2012) Alcoholhas numerous effects on our bodies both physically and mentally. It is awidespread substance classified as a depressant because it slows down ourcentral nervous system and brain activity. Therefore, alcohol abuse isconsidered a mental illness, in which may lead to long-term healthcomplications.
Those who abuse alcohol may be produced by several factors;genetic, psychological, psychological and social. Each having an individualeffect on excessive drinking. There are bad short and long-termeffects of alcohol use disorders that can be devastating and may have life-threateningconsequences. The short-term effects consist of forgetting, feeling hung over,and blacking out after a night of drinking. The long-term effects of thisdisorder consist of cardiovascular consequences, gastrointestinal problems,cancer and potential damage to the brain. (American Psychological Association, 2012) Psychologists who are certified intreating alcohol problems can be beneficial in many ways. They have the abilityto assess an individual and why the problem is occurring. “Cognitivebehavioral, motivational, community reinforcement, family and couples therapyhave been found to reduce the rates of heavy drinking.
” They offer guidance andhelp the individual with the problem recover. (NIAAA, 2017) There are several correlationsbetween mental health disorders, mood or anxiety disorders, and substance abusedisorders. “About one in every twelve adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholic,but nearly one out of ten adults appear to have substance-use disorder.” Manystudies have been done to understand how and why people drink. Research shows,alcohol use and alcoholism can be inherited from genetics, but primarily fromdistressed adolescence.
It is understood that drinking problems begin amongstyoung adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, but may even beginas young as eleven year olds. Alcohol related behaviors may also be the beliefof an individual having an addictive personality. (Adelson, 2006) Research suggests the consumption ofalcohol has several underlying influences, in which initiate from environmentalfactors.
It can be said, there is a high risk of mental illness in those whosuffer for childhood stress. More specifically, these experiences trigger andinitiate the urge of abuse and eventually, the dependency on particularsubstances. A study was done on a population of fifth grade to seventh gradersto assess their daily hassles, life events, and social support. Standardizedquestionnaires were designed specifically to evaluate each pre-adolescent. “Theresults demonstrated that the perceived stressed and negative life events havea negative effect on mental health.” Family problems had the utmost impact onthe future use of alcohol consumption and mental health. Thus, insinuatingwarning signs of the misuse of alcohol should be considered duringpreadolescence and should not be overlooked. Lastly, the social support factorwas not correlated within the results.
(Courtois,2007) This high-risk health behavior andaddiction continues to grow and increase. Not only does the dependency ofalcohol put the individual at risk, but it also affects those who are aroundthem on a consistent basis. It has potential to create a dysfunctional familydynamic and cause destruction to everyone involved. It may also lead toseparation, divorce, and an unstable environment for children. All of which,causes emotional and psychological damage in the future. Alcohol has a tendencyof negatively affecting relationships, and causing stress-related problemsamongst spouses of alcoholics. Because it greatly affects family members,children may also become co-dependent. Meaning, they unconsciously acquire thedevelopment of a parents’ abnormal behavior.
This is critical, as it can resultin several different emotional problems such as depression and isolation. “Awife and often the daughter of an alcohol-dependentfather may also suffer from feelings of basic anxiety and inadequacy, which canbe denied or lessened by their feeling superior to their husband.” A specific research study assessed alcoholrelated disorders in spouses of those who have suffer from this disease.
Byusing a questionnaire, it calculated the severity of alcohol dependencies inpatients. It also used another form of questions, aimed towards general health,to examine the potential existence of morbidity towards spouses of mental andbehavioral related disorders. The general population that was tested age rangewas from twenty-three to sixty-seven, for a total of one hundred and oneparticipants. About 31% of them were men and 43.6% were women, between the agesof thirty-one and forty.
“The findings consisted of alcohol abuse by a husbandto have an effect on; marital life, satisfaction, family support, lowsocioeconomic status with psychological morbidities in spouses of men ofalcohol related disorder.” The association of men abusing alcohol and causingconflicts within their families is most definitely present, but must continueto be evaluated in order to create effective strategies to further prevent andminimize brokenness in families in our society. Establishing way to create agrounded family support system. (Dandu,2017) Toconclude, alcohol is a readily available element that can produce both positiveand negative experiences.
It is a substance that continues to affect people allover the world and thousands of people continue to die every year from alcoholrelated causes. Individuals with substance abuse disorders, more specifically,alcohol abuse, have the ability to improve their chances of recovering if helpis sought. Psychologists address the psychological issues to solve the problemsthey are having. Results may consist of identifying their circumstances thatlead them to drinking, learning how to cope with the matter, in hopes ofputting a stop to drinking. (American Psychological Association, 2012)References AmericanPsychological Association. (2012).
Understanding alcohol use disorders andtheir treatment.”NewNIAAA Strategic Plan Aims to Advance Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Abuse.” Association for Psychological Science,13 June 2017, www.psychologicalscience.org/policy/new-niaaa-strategic-plan-aims-to-advance- behavioral-treatments-for-alcohol-abuse.html.
Adelson,R. (2006). Nationwide survey spotlights US alcohol abuse. Monitor on Psychology, 37.
Courtois,R., Reveillere, C., Paüs, A., Berton, L., & Jouint, C. (2007). Linksbetween stress factors, mentalhealth and initial consumption of tobacco and alcohol during pre- adolescence.
L’Encephale, 33(3 Pt1), 300-309.Dandu,A., Bharathi, S., & Dudala, S. R.
(2017). Psychiatric morbidity in spousesof patients with alcohol relateddisorders. Journal of familymedicine and primary care, 6(2),305.NIDA.(2011, March 1).
Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders. Retrievedfrom https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/comorbidity-addiction-other-mental- disorders on 2018, January 27.