Alcoholics who get angry alienate whoever is on the receiving end of their aggressive behaviour and those who witness it. During their alcoholic lives most drinkers succeed in losing friends, alienating their partners and children to some degree, because excessive drinking is frequently accompanied by either or both physical and verbal abuse while the alcoholic is angry.

Families of alcoholics suffer the most from physical assaults or angry, sarcastic, irrational, verbal attacks and the families resent it. Friends, relatives and workmates who sometimes witness these attacks are embarrassed or disgusted by what they see and hear and frequently sever all connections with the practicing alcoholic.

Few, if any, people enjoy watching an angry person or two angry people. Angry scenes often erupt at parties where large quantities of alcohol are being consumed, people mishear and misinterpret conversations and fights and rows flare up. Those unfortunate enough to witness these scenes are unlikely to come again because there are social sanctions against the open display of anger and aggression in almost all levels of our society. The stupid, irrational behaviour that flows out of anger is more than most people can tolerate.

People who become angry and aggressive often feel guilty about it when they calm down and sober up but the damage is done. Many marriages and partnerships, where there is still love and affection, often break down following such an angry, stormy and aggressive encounter. The feelings of shame and guilt overwhelm the still sick and suffering alcoholic. There are some people who are expert at getting others angry. This is frequently seen at clubs where alcohol-fuelled discussions become infernos of disaster.

One of the quickest ways for a recovered alcoholic to return to drinking is to continue to get angry.  AA meetings are full of relapsed alcoholics telling their story about how they became angry and aggressive and then headed for the nearest alcohol supplier. Those that fail to plan, plan to fail!

Alcoholics often appear calm because they bottle up their feelings, especially anger and resentment. They are often afraid to vent their anger because of the public sanctions that exist against the expression of anger. The cause of a lot of anger is frustration of co-dependency needs that are not being met.

Alcoholics often go through their adolescent years without achieving the emotional independence from their parents. That sets them up for drinking groups or a spouse for support. This causes conflict between dependency needs and the need to be independent and anger results. For many, the anger can be expressed only covertly, in sarcasm, teasing, bullying or controlling tactics to get their own way.

Depression is often anger turned inwards to blame the self. We become critical of ourselves, full of self-disgust at our inability to cope with life: this is called depression. Chronic depression, of course, is a profoundly painful and unpleasant emotion which many try to drown in alcohol.

When we are angry, the possibility of solving the problems that confront us in any satisfactory way is absolutely minimal, because the anger floods the whole body, including the brain, with unpleasant demands for immediate action. Depression, which can be thought of as the inward-turning to anger, has the same ultimate effect, but has the added elements of a sense of futility, lack of control over what is happening and of hopelessness that rules out virtually any reasonable attempt to solve the problem. Aggression against self can hardly be regarded as a rational solution to any situation.

What can be done?

Help is only a phone call away. With the assistance of supplements, counselling, exercise and good nutrition, alcoholism can be put into remission, but never cured. Total abstinence is required to start the journey of recovery followed by counselling. The brain chemistry must be functional. When it comes to feeling mentally and emotionally switched on, we have to have the correct brain chemistry – get it wrong and you will never achieve the feeling of wellbeing that you crave.

The alcoholic has a predisposition to a depleted dopamine neurotransmitter – the centre of satisfaction in the brain. What can we do about it?  Tyrosine Mood Food is necessary for the manufacture of dopamine and noradrenaline, which are required for concentration, alertness, memory and a happy stable mood. Magnesium is the great relaxer and is assists in the reduction of stress, nervous tension, anxiety and sleeplessness. LivaTone Plus supports liver function and metabolism and supports phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways, ensuring optimum detoxification of many toxic substances, including alcohol. L-Glutamine helps to reduce cravings and is excellent in helping the liver to heal.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!