The Eye-Opening Science Behind Alcoholic Rage

“Later on in the night, you may find someone crying or becoming overly emotional, and this is because, as the alcohol wears off, there is a big drop in serotonin below baseline,” Tietz explains. But effects to other neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamine, may also be involved. So, someone may not be able to grasp the bigger picture of a situation.

  • This impact can begin to take place after just one drink, depending on the person and other factors, he adds (2).
  • In general, expressing appropriate emotions is a skill that addicts struggle with early in their recovery.
  • Some are quite docile, drinking alone until they pass out, meaning no harm to anyone.
  • Whether you stop drinking altogether or just practice a sober curious lifestyle, you’re likely to find your emotions are easier to regulate.
  • It starts way before that, with the underlying core issues, the anger, the anxiety, and the depression.

Alcohol seems to steal away the person you know and replace him or her with an angry version. Do your loved ones tell you that when you drink, you turn into an angry person? Good news is that once you begin to understand why drinking makes you feel angry, you may change your drinking behavior and experience less anger. There is also a strong link between domestic violence and alcoholism. There is the stereotype of the drunken husband who returns home and physically abuses his wife, but this is an age-old convention that science has begun to debunk. Research has shown that heavy drinking is not the primary cause of domestic violence.

The Impact of Alcohol on Emotions: The Good & The Ugly

Alcohol consumption can leave a temporary positive impact on our mood, but alcohol misuse can lead to serious mental health conditions, coma, and even death. These problems are even more likely, especially in young people, when combined with the use of multiple illicit substances. For that reason, abstaining from alcohol altogether may be the best way to prevent undesirable effects, such as relationship issues or legal trouble.

vacationing in recovery

They were also required to respond to the Consideration of Future Consequence Scale (CFC). It was found that those scoring lower became significantly more aggressive than those who had higher ratings on the CFC. The findings were explained by emphasizing that concern for the future involves greater prefrontal cortex resources that help inhibit the excessive impact of alcohol.

Reduced consideration for consequences

In the end, solving a drinking problem isn’t solely about the absence of substances, but rather a complete overhaul of your lifestyle and behaviors. It’s essential to find new healthy habits that fuel your soul and give you a new purpose. Not to mention, recovering alcoholics that don’t manage anger are at higher risk of relapse. Anger is an emotion that varies from person to person and adapts to different situations. A cognitive, behavioral, and physical reaction to it happens all at once.

Why does alcohol make you aggressive?

Alcohol interferes with cognitive control functions and can lead to narrowed perception and therefore aggression.

Additionally, dry drunks will miss the adrenaline rush from old behaviors they do not experience in their new sober self. Scientists don’t know why alcohol has the opposite of its intended effects, but there are several theories. Some deal with the change our bodies and brains go through when intoxicated, namely the heightened stress response and increased levels of cortisol. Others believe it’s due to one’s natural disposition or emotional state prior to drinking. There have been numerous findings that support both potential causes, each providing clues as to which individuals are more likely to display aggressive behavior while drunk. Often, when children, spouses and other loved ones spend time close to someone who becomes abusive when they drink, their lives change for the worse.

What You Don’t Know About Anger and Alcoholism

Throughout these changes, learning how to manage anger more effectively is essential. The good news is, many of the same tools that will support your sobriety will also help you process and cope with anger. The following are some tips on handling anger as you work towards your goals. Whatever the cause, it’s a vital part of the sobriety journey to become aware of your anger and its sources, and develop new ways to manage it.

Anger management problems are defined by frequent emotional outbursts, persistent feelings of frustration, and even violent aggression. An anger management problem can damage career trajectories, family and personal relationships, and even your long-term health. The most self-evident way to stop being an angry drinker is to quit drinking altogether. By ending alcohol misuse, you can make positive decisions with a clear outlook. Those who are dependent on alcohol should participate in alcohol addiction treatment to break the cycle. Remember, quitting a substance cold turkey can lead to health issues, so it’s best to enlist professional help.

Practical Ways to Set Holiday Boundaries With Family

Using a personality questionnaire, an aggression scale, and alcohol use and history assessments, researchers compared 156 people without the gene with 14 people who have it. Researchers were studying people in the Finnish population, of which more than 100,000 people have the genetic variation. Researchers found that participants who were less inclined to think about the future were more inclined to deliver shocks longer and harder, but especially if they were drunk. Alcohol had minimal impact on aggression for those who thought about future consequences.

  • But people without that trait don’t get any more aggressive when drunk than they would when they’re sober.
  • Expressive therapies provide healthy, and often nonverbal, outlets for the expression of negative and difficult emotions.
  • By ending alcohol misuse, you can make positive decisions with a clear outlook.

Mark joined the medical team at The Freedom Center in September 2018 as the Medical Director. He received his medical degree in Mexico with further certification from Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. He then attended New York Medical College for his residency training.

This will give your brain time to regain its rational thinking and assess the full situation before reacting. You can always count again if you don’t feel ready to move forward yet. So, remember that when you don’t express your anger and when you don’t express your hurt – when you cut yourself off from those feelings – that’s when you start the addictive cycle. A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, although many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation — especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before.

Alcohol and Anger

If you have a problem with silently harboring anger, you may be likely to let it spill out while drinking. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care.

Does Quitting Drinking Make You Angry?

This can lead resentment and an unhealthy relationship if this pattern continues. Alcohol can exacerbate any problems that may be going on in your relationship and has the potential to even reveal any underlying issues that there may be. Once this happens, many end up thinking that their recovery is worthless, and they might decide to no more extended care about their recovery. Feelings of anger can be so powerful that they cloud their judgment and second-guess their reasons for being sober.