Alcoholism – Definition, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

alcoholismAlcoholism, as defined by doctors and psychologists, is literally a sickness characterised by social, physiological or psychological dysfunction brought about due to excessive and continuous use of alcohol. It produces hindrance in a person’s life by hampering their health, work, social life and responsibilities towards family. Therefore, besides harming themselves, alcoholics also affect their own families, associates and other people through their drinking problem.

There are countless health hazards associated with alcoholism, the most common ones being elevated blood pressure, liver cirrhosis, malnutrition, chronic pancreatitis and cancer. Sometimes, chronic alcohol consumption can also cause permanent damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems. Apart from health problems, issues such as divorces, unemployment, criminal activities and domestic violence are also associated with people having drinking problem.

Causes of Alcoholism

As with any substance abuse disorder, the onset of alcoholism can be triggered due to a number of risk factors. Some of them are as follows:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Alcoholic parents or elder siblings
  • History of abuse, either physical or mental
  • Anti-social manners
  • Stressful events, such as loss of a loved one, relationship breakups, pressure at workfront, etc.


The common signs associated with alcohol abuse are:

  • Paying less attention to important responsibilities of work, studies or home
  • Driving or using machinery while drunk
  • Using alcohol for gulping down medicines
  • Using alcohol to get relief from stress
  • Relationship problems due to excessive alcohol consumption

The conspicuous symptoms or after effects of alcoholism include:

  • Shakiness
  • Trembling
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Delusions
  • Inactive social life

How Can Alcoholism Be Cured?

In Australia, around 18 percent of the total population are victims of alcoholism. Those who do not suffer from the problem may find it hard to believe, but almost 4 percent Australians consume alcohol every day in excessive quantities.

Fortunately, there are several methods for curing this horrible life-threatening addiction. One of the most effective counter-measures is counselling. Psychiatric counselling or talking therapy can help alcoholics understand why they drink excessively. It can also aid them in identifying the root factor that triggers their drinking problem. Most of the times, victims are able to find new ways to cope with associated anxieties and stresses, and they get the required support to work through feelings of guilt and shame.

Jade Couquax is a putative French psychologist in Bondi. Besides helping people afflicted with various psychological disorders, she also provides counselling therapies to victims of drug abuse and alcoholism. If you or your loved one is finding it hard to quit alcohol, contact Jade for help today.

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