Is Alcohol Making Me Angry?

Is Alcohol Making Me Angry?

Getting drunk and drinking way too much, is culturally acceptable. For every individual drinker, there is a group of drinkers, who make the drinker think that everyone else drinks that way.

Alcohol and anger, go hand-in-hand. Where there is alcohol, there is a loosening of restraint and inhibitions, and with that comes an ease in expressing hot emotions. Some people are “angry-drunks,” but not all angry drunks are your typical angry-drunks. That is, some people will become cantankerous and aggressive when drunk, and other people who don’t typically become difficult drunks find that when they are drunk their usual day-by-day arguments escalate way beyond what they would usually.

Look back on the last few months, or if that is difficult, keep a diary for the next couple of months, and check out the times you were very angry, to the point of it becoming hostile rage, and destructive to your relationship. Had you been drinking? You don’t necessarily need to have been on a binge for alcohol to negatively impact your capacity to get angry. For some, just a few beers can loosen their restraint and mean they are far more likely to lash out verbally, than they would if they were sober.

If this sounds like you, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a significant trigger for your anger, particularly if you are someone who only becomes angry and verbally aggressive when you have been drinking. When your anger is triggered by a substance, such as alcohol, reducing the substance use will reduce the anger as well, although there may still be some work to be done in terms of effective emotional regulation.

The bad news is that you may have a drinking problem. If your drinking triggers fights, or is putting a strain on your relationship with your loved ones, particularly your partner, then that’s a bit of a red flag that maybe it is worth looking at how much you are drinking.

Most people who hear that they have a problem with alcohol will point to their friends who drink just as much, or to the stereotypes of what it means to be an alcoholic, such as someone who drinks every day, or someone who is unable to home or house themselves. When someone who is drinking a little too much compares themselves with someone who drinks far too much, it is easy for them to feel like they don’t have a problem.

Alcoholism is a horrible illness. It is passed down from generation to generation, is poorly understood, and comes with many negative connotations. Alcoholism is also a progressive illness, in that it progresses slowly from drinking a bit too much to drinking continually. It is perhaps more helpful to think of alcoholism as developing in stages; alcoholism has been broken down into stages: pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, and late alcoholic. (

One of the first challenges on hearing all this, and thinking, “yeah, maybe I do drink a bit too much,” is being able to acknowledge that there is a problem. The next step is looking for someone to help you. I don’t specialize in addictions, but there are many, many, people out there who can help you.

It’s difficult to change the way we act, period, we are creatures of habit – how many New Year’s resolutions have you kept. It is even more difficult to change the way we act out, and get angry. Trying to manage your anger when we you’re drunk is a little like trying to learn to swim in the middle of the Atlantic, with massive waves crashing over you – it’s virtually impossible. If you want to learn to swim, take lessons in the shallow end. If you want to learn how to stop being angry, get some help to reduce how much you are drinking. For some people, just a few beers, will make the difference between being able to stay calm, and losing their temper. If that’s you, there are a lot of options for help. Don’t hesitate to call us if you want to talk, or check out: for resources in Canada.

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